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Open data hackathons drive digital innovation

Discover learnings from researchers at the University of Macedonia

Europe

Are you an entrepreneur or part of a start-up and developing a new application? Then open data hackathons and digital innovation competitions are a great opportunity for you to find external partners, develop new ideas and collaborate, or even extend your ideas to a new start-up.

A Greek research team at the University of Macedonia recently studied exactly what it is that drives the success of these events. In other words, what are the goals and design strategies that make open data hackathons and innovation competitions successful?

They looked at 6 case studies of open data hackathons and innovation competitions between 2014 and 2018 in Thessaloniki. Here’s what they found:

  1. Businesses, policymakers, citizens, practitioners and developers need to actively collaborate to publish and reuse datasets.
  2. Organisers should be aware of the potential for knowledge and insight creation of an event and develop explicit knowledge management mechanisms accordingly. Also, these mechanisms should evolve alongside the different phases of an event.
  3. Though every open data hackathon and digital innovation competition is unique in its set-up,  the whole set-up should meet the needs of each public institution and should ideally even be adapted for each specific user.

The researchers conclude the study by stating that, first and foremost, it is the active involvement of businesses, non-governmental organisations, and the collaboration between companies and developers that drives the success of the events and creates new channels of communication. According to the authors, to truly progress the digital transformation of government:

“ … entities from the public and private sectors must collaborate, primarily by publishing official government data sets, providing funding, educating citizens to participate in related open data-driven activities, sharing knowledge and technical tools, and creating networking opportunities that will aid in the launch of more open data-driven platforms, services, and start-ups.”

Curious to learn more? Read the publication.

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