So far, technology has been one of our greatest allies in the fight against the pandemic. The European Commission, therefore, organised a hackaton, appropriately named “EUvsVirus”, pitching all the innovators who came up with creative anti-Covid solutions against each other. We are proud to say that, in the course of this event, several Italian startuppers and tech-geniuses stood out for their game-changing contribution.
The event was structured like a classic hackathon, with a jury of qualified experts selecting 120 teams based on the innovation and life-saving potential of their projects. By the end of May, they were then rewarded with a “Matchathon”, meaning they were matched with exclusive potential investors, public institutions, accelerators, universities, research centres, and other potential business partners which will hopefully invest in their ideas and help them scale up. This would mean a lot both for the winning teams – as they might be able to turn their ideas into profitable businesses – and for the world at large, since we still need all the help we can get in the fight against Covid-19. EUvsVirus comprised over 37 challenges in 6 different areas: Political and Social Cohesion, Business Continuity, Health and Life, Work and Distance Education, Digital Finance, and an open challenge to tackle specific issues identified by the community. The whole event was run remotely on Slack.
Italian innovators stand out
Italy turned out to be the country with the highest number of registered participants, with over 300 tech proposals by over 2500 startuppers and individual innovators. In the end, 22 Italian projects either won or made the podium at the EUvsVirus hackaton challenges. The individual events were assigned to different categories and the participants were encouraged to find creative ways of making our post-Covid existence easier, working around the limitations deriving from the need for social distancing, and taking into account the major economic shift that our society is undergoing.
In this post, we are going to present two Italian winners of the EUvsVirus challenges, which exemplify how the “new normal” can be improved upon. Jobiri, an AI-based project, won the “Remote Working and Education” challenge, offering “the first digital career consultant”. This app accelerates the job placement process, offering support both to candidates looking for a new job (as many will be, since many companies have had to lay off personnel due to downsizing) and to government institutions needing to digitize their services. The “E-Learning methods & tools challenge” was won by aiLearning, an app that proposes to optimise remote learning and make it easier and more accessible, using algorithms to simplify the performance and evaluation of written and oral exams.