Unearthed Hackathons (2016)
Unearthed is an open innovation platform for the global resources sector. Through hackathons, online challenges and a technology accelerator, Unearthed creates opportunities for entrepreneurs and helps improve the efficiency and competitiveness of the resources industry. Unearthed has hosted 15 hackathons and two online competitions, and connected more than 2000 innovators to challenges from MtM’s resources industry partners. Unearthed hackathon events are unique 54-hour long activities focused on meeting these needs for the resources sector, by adapting the successful innovation ecosystem model most commonly associated with Silicon Valley. Software developers, designers, and industry insiders come together to develop prototype solutions to resources sector problems. Unearthed participants have a chance to work on proprietary industry data as well as data from government partners, even where they have no prior experience in the resources sector. It is this openness that allows for novel, often surprising solutions to surface in a very short time.
With UCT's support, Professor Dee Bradshaw was able to catalyse the opportunity for Cape Town to host the first International Hakathon event, to coincide with Africa's largest mining conference, the Mining Indaba. The first Unearthed Hackathon in Cape Town offered five challenges, ranging from practical operational challenges like particle segmentation, to more open challenges like 'nano-mining'. These were set by De Beers and Anglo American and 17 teams worked all weekend to address them. The next event in Cape Town is currently being planned for 3-5th Feb 2017, with the theme being ‘Innovation for Sustainability’