The Portathon 2022 Hackathon: Participation of UTCB team and 16 generated technological solutions
For the fourth time, Klaipėda has invited innovations aimed at sustainability, efficiency, and security of port processes to be created at the Portathon hackathon. During the 48-hour event, technology enthusiasts and professionals from different fields generated 16 technological solutions.
Among the participants – EU-CONEXUS team from the Technical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest (UTCB). The project topic they worked with: “Automatic Application for Logistic Incidents and Predictive Threats”.
Talents for maritime Lithuania
Innovative ideas were developed in Klaipėda Science and Technology Park, as well as remotely in other cities in Lithuania and abroad, by students of engineering, IT, and other fields of study, mixed teams of young people and teachers/ academics, and company specialists.
For the first time, the World Maritime University team joined the hackathon remotely. This year, since European university alliance EU-CONEXUS took part in the Portathon, the Technical University of Civil Engineering in Bucharest as its member delegated its team to Klaipėda to participate live.
“We have been partners with the Portathon since the beginning of this initiative. This hackathon is not only a valuable resource for obtaining new ideas and solutions for the port: it is also a place where the talents needed by Klaipėda, maritime business, and maritime Lithuania grow”, emphasised Algis Latakas, Director General of Klaipėda State Seaport.
Over 100 participants got together
At the Portathon 2022 starting line on September 30, more than 100 participants lined up, assisted by mentors from science and business organizations in Lithuania, Germany, Sweden, Romania, and Poland.
16 teams reached the finish line in 48 hours, in the afternoon of October 2, and submitted their solutions to the Evaluation Committee. The teams of: Vilnius College of Technologies and Design VTDK maketistai-paketistai [VCTD Layout Designers-Packers], Klaipėda Baltija Gymnasium BalticG&TA, assisted by technology enthusiasts from Kaunas, Klaipėda College of Social Sciences, a joint team of Klaipėda University and Klaipėda State College EcoKlaipPort, and a remotely connected team of technology enthusiasts led by Mantas Indrašius scored the most points and became the winners of the Portathon 2022.
The winners shared a 4,000 EUR prize fund, the main founder of which was Klaipėda State Seaport Authority. This year, Klaipėda ID, Klaipėda’s economic development agency, also established its own prize as well as brought its own challenge to the hackathon.
Prototypes were demonstrated
Two of the teams – winners chose the challenges presented by the port of Klaipėda. The EcoKlaipPort team provided a solution for a smart synchronised traffic regulation system that would enable the assessment of urban traffic and freight flows transported by ships, rail, and trucks and would help regulate traffic to ensure a smooth traffic flow, avoiding congestion, unplanned queueing of heavy vehicles, and increased pollution.
The Tech enthusiasts, who called their team The Pig’s Back, undertook the challenge of the electricity demand (Onshore Power Supply/ OPS) calculation tool which was also presented by the port. The IT solution should estimate the electricity demand of ships arriving and berthing at the port. Based on the received data, the required number of OPS stations and energy resources would be ensured at the quays, and the processes of supplying electricity to ships would be balanced.
The team of Klaipėda Baltija Gymnasium BalticG&TA and the team VTDK maketistai-paketistai from Vilnius chose the challenge of Klaipėda University and its spin-off company Inobiostar: they worked on a package design solution for a unique product developed in Lithuania, intended for the neutralisation of oil spills at sea. The proposal of the students of the Vilnius College of Technology and Design to use photodegradable polypropylene mesh for packaging stood out in terms of sustainability (use-reuse-use after reuse). The product, straw processed in a specific manner, when packaged in this way, could be used in at least several more different ways, for example, for reinforcing sagging slopes, covering tracks, in horticulture, etc.
An additional prize of the hackathon went to the SwipX team, which was just slightly lagging behind the winners. The hackers of SwipX came up with a solution of how to clean up oil spills at sea using drones; they proposed to fire special cannons filled with material containing Inobiostar biotechnology (it breaks down oil pollutants in the marine environment with the help of microorganisms feeding on them). This team, like several others, not only presented the working principle of their solution to the Commission, but also demonstrated a prototype developed in 48 hours.
Ship engineers met their challenge
The teams actively dealt with the challenges presented by Klaipėda City Municipality and Klaipėda ID, which called for finding solutions for monitoring, data collection, and analysis of the city’s street cleaning process. The participants of the hackathon also submitted their proposals for a solution for the monitoring system of sewage outlets through which water flowed into the lagoon: they sought to identify the number and the kind of sensors that would be needed for such a digitised system and how they would signal possible pollution or ensure the stopping of processes.
Among the participants, the team WBE, member of the Lithuanian Maritime Cluster AB Western Shipyard, stood out. The team used the hackathon format specifically to solve a challenge relevant to its own company: it was developing a modular solution for a pusher barge, which would enable the use of electric batteries and different types of fuel in order to extend the trajectory that a loaded ship could overcome and to ensure zero or significantly lower pollutant emissions.
“As we were observing the working process and results of the teams, it became obvious that they were not only able to mobilise themselves and demonstrate tangible results, but also to profit from the participation in the event for 48 hours that passed by very quickly. The experience of participation is more enriching than the prizes, because the connections established during the hackathon with representatives of different industries and the insights obtained from external experts can give a strong impetus to the further development of technological solutions or the emergence of marine startups”, said Andrius Sutnikas, Development Manager of Klaipėda Science and Technology Park.
The conceptual and organisational core of the Portathon: Lithuanian Maritime Cluster, Klaipėda State Seaport Authority, Klaipėda University, and Klaipėda Science and Technology Park, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Three international projects _ Liquid Energy, Decade 2030, and DigitechPort _ helped Klaipėda to hold the Portathon this year.