The 2020 Presidential Hackathon Press Conference and Proposal Submission Briefing was held on February 20 at the National Development Council by the Executive Yuan. Lee Chun-Yi, Deputy Secretary-General to the President, Audrey Tang, Minister without Portfolio, Chen Jen-ran, Ambassador-at-large, and Raymond Greene, AIT Deputy Director jointly announced that 2020 Presidential Hackathon would be open for submission of proposals from March 2 to April 17. The event will be supervised by the Office of the President, organized by the Executive Yuan, co-organized by the Board of Science and Technology and National Development Council, and implemented by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. This year marks the 3rd anniversary of the event. The National Development Council will be the coordinator for national data support in the 2020 Presidential Hackathon. Hackers from the private sector are encouraged to work with the public sector using open-source data to enhance the innovation and efficiency of public services. Representatives from the Legislative Yuan, Examination Yuan, Control Yuan, and central and local governments were also present.
Deputy Secretary-General to the President Lee said that the Presidential Hackathon aims to facilitate public-private collaboration by organizing a competition and to innovate public services using open-source data. Under the theme of sustainable development, this year’s event focuses on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proposed by the UN in 2015 and includes a parallel international track, demonstrating Taiwan’s determination to expand partnerships and address global and regional issues. We hope that cross-border, cross-agency and cross-domain talents will come up with collaborative proposals and solutions to diverse sustainability issues.
Ambassador-at-large Chen quoted the slogan of g0v in his remarks: Do not ask why there is nobody doing this. You have to admit that you are the “nobody”. Almost all of the ten winning teams of the Presidential Hackathon of the previous two years have started to implement their proposals. According to Ambassador Chen, he was glad to see concrete results achieved jointly by the government and experts from the private sector. The event this year aims to bring together teams from different countries to address the current public health emergency and environmental issues, such as climate change, and foster international cooperation.
AIT Deputy Director Greene pointed out that Hackathon is an integral part of solutions to global issues. It is estimated that 2.5 billion people will move to urban areas in the next three decades, imposing great challenges on economic development, environment, and the well-being of people. City governance, thus, will become important. Taiwan will spare no effort to contribute to the solutions to social issues. Mr. Green highlighted the longstanding US-Taiwan partnership in addressing global issues by pointing out that the friendship between the US and Taiwan and their concerted efforts have enabled mutual benefits and significant development.
Minister without Portfolio Tang stated that the Presidential Hackathon in 2018 and 2019 were themed around ‘social innovation’ and ‘smart nation’ respectively with a total of 236 teams. The winners’ proposals have become not only references for policy implementation but role models for local initiatives going global. For example, in 2018, the team “Saving Water Resources” from Taiwan Water Corporation was invited to participate in a hackathon in New Zealand immediately after winning the award; in 2019, the team “Rounding Team” from the Ministry of Health and Welfare went to Columbia University in New York to present their proposal. All individuals and teams are welcome to submit their proposals and collaboratively promote Taiwan’s sustainability and visibility.
The top five SDG topics revealed in the Press Conference are those concerning Taiwan citizens the most from the Civic Wishing Pool up to February 15, though the Pool is going to remain open until March 20. Citizens are welcome to make wishes, and hackers are invited to make them come true! For more information, please go to http://presidential-hackathon.taiwan.gov.tw/
Source: Ministry of Economic Affairs