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University Alliance Europe hackathon to tackle challenges in the post-COVID-19 world

The European Union is now looking beyond the current socioeconomic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and to the new world is be created as a result of the global outbreak. To prepare for this and to gather the best solutions for the challenges which are and will be faced in the recovery stage by all Member States, the University Alliance Europe (UNA) set up an international hackathon in May 2020. UNA Europa is a unique alliance made up of eight leading European research universities aiming to draw on collective strength and create a truly European inter-university environment.

It is with this goal in mind that the 10 days long pilot hackathon entitled UNA.TEN – “Transform Emergency Now! 10 days for change" was launched to address post-COVID-19 solutions in  the sectors food, tourism and travel, online digital consent, and cultures and entertainment. The pan-European student hackathon was based on an open innovation design process where over 100 students from the eight UNA Europa universities came together with local partners to find solutions to four specific COVID-related topics:

  • Rethinking entertainment and culture,
  • Securing privacy and preventing misconceptions in a digital world,
  • Ensuring traveler safety, and
  • Avoiding food waste.

The participants worked in 19 teams and were accompanied by more than twenty coaches from across the UNA Europa partners. Some of the final outcomes included customisable browser add-on to maximise digital protection, and a short-circuit solution for sustainable beef supply. The hackathon was concluded on the 8th of May 2020, after having being awarded the remark 'splendid chaos, the best breeding ground for innovation and good design'. You can read about the final results of the hackathon here.  

To learn more about the UNA.TEN final outcomes and have an overview of all the solutions, please click here.  

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