#HacktheGiant, the first Evonik hackathon, was an exciting event with varied, creative, and innovative ideas.

Ready, steady, hack: Participants of #HacktheGiant on September 25 and 26 had just 24 hours in which to occupy themselves with innovative service concepts, develop ideas, and directly implement the first steps of these.

External and internal participants took up the joint invitation of Technology & Infrastructure and Evonik Digital, and had the opportunity initially to study in detail the prepared challenges (tasks) under the guidance of Evonik mentor teams. After dividing into groups and selecting a challenge, the participants went straight to work.

Appropriately to the soccer stadium venue, Christian Diercks, Lead for BVB’s Youth Programmes, motivated the participants with a pep talk at the countdown.

To solve the problems, Evonik's experts, such as Jörn Kiwitt (seen here on the left), had brought along the latest technology: The task in the field of occupational safety, for example, was tackled using VR and AR glasses. The challenge was to find new and creative approaches for safety training.

Another task at #HacktheGiant called for solutions in the event of an incident: How could people who are unable to bring themselves to safety be quickly and easily located?

Team spirit, innovation, and state-of-the-art technologies were in focus at the event—as was having fun! This is clearly evident in this photo of the Intelligent Energy Cycle team, which in 24 hours constructed a prototype for a data cockpit that not only bundles all data pertaining to energies but also improves prognostic capability.

Fueled by energy drinks and comfort food, the designers and developers kept going through the night. Camp beds were available for those overcome by fatigue. Participants also kept awake and alert with the help of early morning exercise, massage units, and a stadium tour.

After 24 hours of work the participants presented their solutions to the jury, which included, in addition to IBM’s TJ-Bot, Dr. Henrik Hahn (3rd from left), Chief Digital Officer of Evonik, Dr. Bettina Uhlich (right), Chief Information Officer of Evonik, Thomas Schiffer (2nd from right), Head of Process and IT Management at Technology & Infrastructure, Torben Weis (3rd from right), Professor of Distributed Systems at the University of Duisburg Essen, Ethan Hermon (left), IBM, and Matthias Zarzecki (2nd from left), a hackathon veteran with more than 100 hackathons under his belt. The jury was evidently very impressed; as Hahn summed it up: “Everyone in his or her own way has presented great solutions.”

Two teams tied for the first prize: One of them tested within 24 hours three different approaches to automated recognition of anomalies in plants, while the other presented a solution for locating people in an incident. The second prize was won by a team working on health management, which set up a chatbot in 24 hours. The third prize went to a team with the idea of a community-based virtual-reality training in occupational safety. “We’ll now take a closer look at all the solutions and will work on developing them further—so every team is in fact a winner,” says #HacktheGiant organizer Anna Friedrich, Digital Partner in the Digital Development team of Technology & Infrastructure.

Participants, mentor teams, jury, and organizers at the end of a successful first hackathon at Evonik. Says Hahn: “It won’t be our last.”

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