29 Sep 2016 |
Research article |
Infrastructures and Built Environment
ÉTS Students Among the Three Teams Selected for the Aqua Hacking Final 2016 !
The semifinals of the Aqua Hacking 2016 challenge presented by the de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation, in partnership with IBM, was held on September 15, 2016, at the École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) in Montréal. For this event, 78 challenges were handed out to participants from around the world, interested in finding innovative solutions to protect the Saint Lawrence River. The winners of this edition will share $50,000 in prize money.
Aqua Hacking 2016, a Special Form of Hackathon
Usually, a hackathon takes place during a weekend. The participating teams race from Friday night to Sunday afternoon to present innovative solutions to proposed problems. However, the AquaHacking hackathon can be compared to a marathon since it takes place over a period of five months (from May to October 7, 2016)! Of the thirty teams entered, 15 registered at the ÉTS to participate in the semifinals. The judges for the semifinals were:
- Richard Chénier, Director of the Centech, the business incubator of the ÉTS;
- Sylvain Carle, CEO of the Founder Fuel incubator and partner of the Real Ventures fund;
- Nikitasha Kapoor, Manager of Development at District 3, the Concordia University incubator;
- Nicolas Milot, Associate Professor at the Institut des sciences de l’environnement (ISE) of the UQÀM;
- Lyne Morissette, marine ecologist.
The ÉTS is Actively Involved in Aqua Hacking!
The ÉTS chose six AquaHacking challenges handed out to engineering students around the world. Those challenges were:
- Collect water samples from the St. Lawrence River.
- Inform the population about the river water quality.
- Recognize and identify rare or invasive species in the river.
- Reducing bank erosion.
- Remove polluting solid waste from the river.
At the annual challenge of the 24 Hours of Innovation presented by the ÉTS on May 24 and 25, 2016, in partnership with C2MTL, 43 international teams proposed innovative solutions to these challenges in the form of a 2-minute video (see the videos on the proposed solutions). The River Rider team of the Université de technologie Troyes (UTT) in France won the first international prize for its solution to challenge 1: taking water samples from the Saint Lawrence River.
Team Appanko of the Universidad Veracruzana in Mexico won the second international prize for their solution to the same challenge 1.
Subsequently, 49 engineering students from 15 countries worked hard to offer innovative solutions to these challenges during the second edition of the Summer School Course on Innovation and Technological Design, held from June 30 to July 29, 2016.
Of the eight teams formed during this intensive engineering course, three continued their project and presented their solutions in the AquaHacking 2016 semifinals . The teams are:
- “Solutions to Innovate”, presenting a solution to reduce bank erosion;
A system of flexible pillars anchored at the bottom of the river along the banks, which dissipate wave energy while they are folding.
- “The Beach Buoys”, which proposed an application to inform the public about the water quality in the river;
Their mobile application software allows to deliver laboratory test results faster.
- “PolyIDÉE”, presenting a solution to collect water samples from the Saint Lawrence River.
Their water sampling system can do on-site analysis of some of the data (pH and other).
Five Teams Selected for the Aqua Hacking Final 2016
The judges selected 5 teams among the 15 which presented their projects in the semifinals. Of note, three winning teams in the semifinals were formed with students from the ÉTS. The teams are:
- Info-baignade: a team of students (Poly, ÉTS, UQAM) and professionals developing a mobile application informing the public about the microbiological quality of recreational waters in urban areas;
- Solutions to innovate: a team from the ÉTS Summer School proposing flexible pillars to reduce bank erosion;
- Dronolab: the student club Dronolab of the ÉTS is proposing to make use of autonomous drones to take water samples and deliver them directly to the laboratory for analysis;
- eFish: a group of researchers from universities and the Québec Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks (MFFP) offering an application for fishermen to keep track of exotic species and statistical data analysis on freshwater fish in the Saint Lawrence;
- H2EAU: a team of 5 PhD students in the field of water science. This team is developing a web application (mobile compatible) called Go-Explo which gives information on Québec City recreational sites and others along the Saint Lawrence River (parks, marinas, etc.).
Make Way to the Aqua Hacking Final !
These five teams have 21 days to refine their solutions. On October 7, 2016, the five finalists will present their solutions to a panel of entrepreneurs, venture capital investors, digital content professionals, and environmental experts. The prizes for the Aqua Hacking final 2016 are:
As you can note, all the teams selected (five) for the Aqua Hacking final 2016 will win one of the five prizes attributed. Good luck to all teams!