President Tsai attends 2020 Presidential Hackathon award ceremony

The president attends the 2020 Presidential Hackathon award ceremony

President Tsai Ing-wen attended the 2020 Presidential Hackathon award ceremony on the afternoon of September 20. She stated that the best way to realize the hackathon spirit is to resolve current challenges through interdisciplinary cooperation and public-private efforts, which are essential to continuous progress in civil society and the nation as a whole.

The following is a translation of President Tsai’s remarks.

This year marks the third time we have held the Presidential Hackathon. Especially during the current pandemic, we have seen that cooperation between private sector experts and the government, and using open data and innovative technology, have made our overall disease prevention work faster, more responsive, and more efficient.

The best way to realize the hackathon spirit is to resolve difficult government policy and public lifestyle issues through interdisciplinary cooperation.

Although this Presidential Hackathon is being held during a global pandemic, it has attracted the participation of even more hackers than before. There are twice as many proposals as last year, and over 10,000 members of the public voted to support their favorite proposal.

This kind of active participation in public affairs also inspires discussion and spurs enthusiasm for change, which are essential to continuous progress in civil society and the nation as a whole.

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the 12 award-winning teams, including “cohack,” (the Taiwan-US Coronavirus Hackathon). These are all outstanding teams, as determined by popular vote and each stage of the judging process, and the results you produced are truly remarkable.

This year’s winners have addressed issues like energy conservation, climate change, and the tracking and prevention of environmental pollution, all of which are critical challenges today.

Through this hackathon and the spirit of public-private cooperation, combining the wisdom and power of everyone involved, we can use digital technology to apply government data in a meaningful way, and bring innovation and vitality to overall government policy implementation.

I also believe that deep and diverse public participation is indispensable to optimizing government performance.

The repercussions of the current pandemic have also helped us understand that many problems cannot be resolved by a single country, but require the cooperation of global partners working together.

We therefore made a point to invite international teams to submit proposals for this year’s hackathon. I want to thank the 53 teams from seven countries who submitted proposals. This shows more and more people around the world aspire to engage in cross-border cooperation.

I also want to offer a special thanks to AIT for supporting the international hackathon and the coronavirus hackathon. I believe that working together through multinational cooperation is the key to addressing global challenges of the future.

In closing, I would like to once again congratulate all the award-winning teams on hand today. I hope we can continue to apply the hackathon spirit to even more different areas, and work together to overcome limitations, resolve difficult issues, and provide even more innovative solutions.

Among those attending the event were Secretary-General to the President David T. Lee (李大維), Vice Premier Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津), Minister without Portfolio Audrey Tang (唐鳳), Ambassador-at-Large Chen Jen-ran (陳正然), Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-Chung (陳時中), Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Chen Chern- Chyi (陳正祺), Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tseng Hou-jen (曾厚仁), National Development Council Deputy Minister Cheng Cheng-Mount (鄭貞茂), American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Taipei Office Director William Brent Christensen, and Guatemalan Ambassador Willy Alberto Gómez Tirado.

Date: 2020-09-20
Source: Office of the President