The CASSINI Hackathons & Mentoring series returns this May with its 3rd edition, themed “Re(Visit) Europe”. This space entrepreneurship initiative by the European Commission offers participating innovators unique access to EU space technologies and data to tackle pressing global challenges relating to society and industry.
This time, the spotlight is on tourism in Europe – a trillion-euro industry that has taken a severe, pandemic-induced hit over the past couple of years. Data shows Europe was the second most impacted region in terms of declining international tourist arrivals (83% drop in 2020 vs 2019) and, though the situation is improving (19% increase in 2021 vs 2020), it remains dire (still 62% below 2019 levels).
Most experts do not expect tourism to return to pre-pandemic levels before 2024 or later and current geopolitical instability is unlikely to do the industry any favours either.
Still, as tourism recuperates, it'll be different from the one we left behind. The way people travel has changed. Rural, low-density locations are getting more attention, modes of tourism travel other than planes are rising in popularity, and novel forms of sustainable tourism are rapidly developing.
These trends are reflected in the three challenges posed by the 3rd edition of the CASSINI Hackathons – finding sustainable destinations, experiencing lesser-known cities and culture, and exploring nature with care.
The 3rd edition of the CASSINI Hackathon, “Re(Visit) Europe”, will take place simultaneously across 10 different European locations on 12-14 May, hosted by partnered organizations in Austria, Denmark, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and Portugal.
Anyone enthusiastic about entrepreneurship, tourism, and EU space technologies is invited to register and participate in developing digital solutions aimed at lifting Europe's tourism industry out of its prolonged slump.
To do that, competing teams will have at their disposal satellite positioning and navigation services from Galileo and EGNOS, as well as geospatial information from Copernicus Earth observation data, among other tools. On-demand training by experts will be available on-site, making the event accessible to innovators looking to take their first steps in the space sector.
Mirroring previous editions of the hackathon, each team will be able to put these resources to use to tackle one of the three aforementioned challenges:
- Creating sustainable destinations by reducing the carbon footprint of tourism travel.
- Experiencing lesser-known cities and cultures by offering travellers a unique and sustainable way to experience local destinations while supporting local businesses and communities.
- Exploring nature with care by offering tourists a unique and sustainable opportunity to explore European nature.
The use of machine learning, augmented/virtual reality, and blockchain is particularly encouraged in developing the solutions of tomorrow.
Registration for the 3rd CASSINI Hackathon has begun and will be open through May 5.
What's in it for me?
Three winning teams will gain access to a six-month mentoring program featuring 100 hours of hands-on guidance from leading experts to further develop promising ideas into commercially viable solutions. The mentoring program is powered by a diverse lineup of industry veterans with backgrounds in everything from space-based product and business development to marketing, design, and more.
Note: Do you fit the profile of a mentor? Take part as one.
Each hackathon location will also present its own unique prizes and rewards, with an on-site panel of judges recognising and supporting local teams that show great potential. The winning team from each region will then get the chance to pitch their idea to an expert jury who will select 3 projects with the highest potential and most deserving of the grand prize.
Find more info and register for the 3rd edition of the CASSINI Hackathon at hackathons.cassini.eu.