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Young problem solvers from the Highlands wanted for international 'hackathon'


By Calum MacLeod

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Kateryna McKinnon , HIE
Kateryna McKinnon , HIE

Young Highlanders are wanted for a free 48-hour virtual “hackathon”, alongside peers from other parts of the North Atlantic region.

Taking place from March 19-21, the online event will bring together young people aged between 18 and 35 from Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Faroe Islands, Maine and Ontario as well as Scotland, to develop joint solutions to shared challenges.

Participation is free and teams will be made up of four or five people with different backgrounds and skill sets.

Cash prizes and business development opportunities will be awarded to successful teams under each of the two themes – digital health and rural tourism recovery.

Kateryna McKinnon, European manager at Highlands and Islands Enterprise, said: “This is a great opportunity to generate ideas and prototype solutions, which could be developed into commercial products, and crucially help on our road to recovery from the pandemic.”

Jenny Gilruth, Scotland's minister for Europe, said: “Scotland shares many challenges with its neighbours in the North Atlantic region, with common areas of interest including the issues around rural life and low populations.

“By working together and pooling our expertise, we can develop joint solutions and improve the wellbeing of our communities.

“Young people can bring a crucial contribution to these discussions and help us build a more sustainable future for all. The Scottish Government is pleased to join Nordic, American and Canadian partners in supporting this event.”

The 48-hour online event will involve young people aged 18-35 from seven countries on either side of the Atlantic.
The 48-hour online event will involve young people aged 18-35 from seven countries on either side of the Atlantic.

This year’s event follows on from last year’s successful hackathon in May, which saw a high take-up from five countries. Twenty-nine people took part across Scotland and 16 of those were from the Highlands and Islands. The winning idea was developed by a team of two people from Evanton who developed a shopping app.

The hackathon will start at 6pm on Friday March 19 and finish at 6pm on Sunday March 21.

Deadline for signing up is March 15.

For more information and to sign up, visit thinkrural.org


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