More than 50 teams were challenged to identify and co-create innovative digital solutions in three sectors — water, health care, and renewable energy — at the Middle East’s largest-ever industrial “hackathon.”
The Saudi Digital Machines Hackathon is a training and competitive event to create software applications that can help decision makers increase efficiency. Held under the patronage of Abdullah Al-Sawaha, Saudi minister of telecommunications and IT, it was presented by the Saudi Ministry of Teleommunications and Information Technology, Small Medium Enterprise Authority (SMEA), GE Digital, and Obeikan Digital Solutions.
During the ceremony to honor the winners, Al-Sawaha said that through this event, the ministry aimed to promote the use of the latest technologies and encourage innovation to find technical solutions in areas closely related to the lives of citizens.
He added that such activities help the digital culture to grow, to discover the capabilities of creative, young Saudis, and provide an environment for them to develop.
More than 200 participants from the public and private sectors worked together at the event, supporting the digitization of industry and the transfer of concrete coding skills on the Predix platform. They attended a two-day training program, followed by the competitive hackathon judged by international industry and digital experts.
The event was run by Hobby District, a Saudi-based startup focused on coding, software development and the skills of the future.
Tata Consultancy Services provided Predix mentorship support.
“The Saudi Digital Machines Hackathon complements the goals of Vision 2030 to nurture Saudi human capital and to promote a culture of digital innovation that will support the economic and energy diversification initiatives currently being implemented in the Kingdom,” said Ahmed Al-Theneyan, deputy minister of technology industry and digital capabilities. “The hackathon aimed to support the skills of youth to become active participants in driving social and economic progress.”
Saleh Al-Rasheed, governor of SMEA, said: “The Saudi Digital Machines Hackathon served as a strong springboard for young Saudi innovators and digital natives to partner in the growth story of the Kingdom.”
Abdallah Obeikan, CEO of Obeikan Investment Group and Obeikan Digital Solutions, said: “By involving and encouraging young talents to become participants in digital innovation, we are investing in the future of our Kingdom and our youth.”