TRA launches "UAE Hackathon"

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, TRA, today announced the launch of the UAE Hackathon, the country’s biggest data analysis challenge, which will be held in all emirates next February, in conjunction with innovation month.

The Hackathon is held in four phases, including six hackathons in the seven emirates, simultaneously with the allocation of the emirates’ activities for the innovation month. The total number of participants is expected to reach 1200 participants from all over the UAE, with about 200 participants in each hackathon.

The Hackathon concept is to establish small teams of 3-5 persons, representing all categories and segments of society, such as employees, university students, high school students, entrepreneurs, IT professionals and others, to develop solutions and ideas in the identified areas of the Hackathon, using big data provided by many government entities in the country. The UAE Hackathon poses several challenges, including transportation, traffic congestion, health, education, sustainable development, and gender balance, which are among the governmental work priorities in the UAE to achieve customer happiness.

Confirming the importance of this challenge, Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, TRA Director-General, said, "UAE Hackathon is part of the UAE Government strategy to keep pace with the changes and data produced by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, accompanied by the decision of the wise leadership to establish a ministry of Artificial Intelligence, to become the first country in the region in this field. This Hackathon is also part of a series of initiatives launched by TRA, aimed at enhancing the spirit of innovation among the various sectors of society, particularly the youth sector, to develop their skills and competencies to be able to compete in the labour market, which is expected to undergo drastic changes with regards to the required standards in competencies and human resources."

Al Mansoori added, "We consider the Hackathon an opportunity to strengthen the partnership between the public and private sectors through engaging private companies in the country. Through this experience, we aim to use data to develop innovative solutions and ideas that help in achieving the community’s happiness, thus, the Hackathon slogan is ‘Data for Happiness’. We also aim to involve a large number of students with participants from different social groups to develop modern solutions based on the analysis of available data."

The event is the first and largest of its kind in the field of data analysis. It consists six hackathons, each held in an emirate, starting from Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi on 4th February 2018, and will last for three days. The second week will take place in Fujairah and Ras al-Khaimah from 11th-13th February at Ajman University – Fujairah branch, and the American University of Ras al-Khaimah. The third week will be held from 18th-20th February in Sharjah, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain, and will be hosted by the American University of Sharjah and Ajman University – Ajman Branch.

Dubai will be the last station in the UAE Hackathon tour, where competitions will be held at Zayed University from 25th-27th February 2018. All UAE residents can participate in the Hackathon, and no particular specialisations or professions are required. The only requirement is to register online through the website, and it is preferable to register as teams rather than individuals.

All participants will receive one-day training course as well as a participation certificate from TRA. The winners will be announced at a ceremony on 3rd March 2018 in Abu Dhabi.

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