The European Union Delegation to Bahrain, the French Embassy, the Bahrain Authority of Culture & Antiquities, and Brinc concluded the second edition of the Urban Hackathon in the GCC region launched by the EU Delegation to Bahrain, with a closing ceremony announcing the winner of the most sustainable futuristic urban planning idea aligned with Bahrain 2030 Vision and the EU Green Deal.
Bahrain’s edition of the Urban Hackathon was designed to welcome freelancers, entrepreneurs, and practitioners in architecture, civil engineering, urban planning, environmentalism, and culture to apply to join the hackathon. Twenty participants took part in the first Urban Hackathon in Bahrain and went through three intense days where they developed their projects to find solutions and implement them. This collaborative effort created an opportunity for the Bahraini community to share ideas and propose solutions around urban planning combined with Sustainable Development Goals aligned with best EU practices in this domain.
During the three-day hackathon, participants received a concentrated learning experience from urban and culture experts sourced by the organizing parties. The teachings focused on how to research and refine ideas, develop a business model, prototype testing, and pitch their project. The participants showcased their solutions to a jury of business, technology, and industry experts to evaluate the hackathon-winning team.
The jury selected one winning team to receive funding from a local business angel investor, as they look to develop the project further and implement it. Though, all competing teams will gain support from the Bahrain Authority of Culture & Antiquities, EU experts, and Brinc in transforming their project into reality. The winning team was chosen based on its commitment to showcasing Bahrain’s culture and how it reflects modern sustainability. Their idea focuses on creating a safe public space environment that supports the community to have better mental health.
In her opening remarks, H.E. Sheikha Hala bint Mohamad Al Khalifa, Undersecretary, Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, thanked the European Delegation and the French Embassy, and the organizers and experts who brought their knowledge and support to the candidates. She saluted the participants’ efforts and stressed the importance of culture as a binder to sustainable planning initiatives. She ended her speech by praising the winning idea for bringing back the traditional practice of using public space to the fore.
In his speech, H.E. Patrick Simonnet, EU Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain, said: “This project aims to empower and develop the skills of people in the field of urban planning and sustainable cities. I thank all our partners, who have worked hard to deliver this hackathon, and the mentors who have guided young people in their various creative endeavors and worked towards meeting the project’s aim.”
Mr. Emmanuel Mayer, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of France to the Kingdom of Bahrain, added: “The main aim of this hackathon project was to see the development of concrete projects in a strategic area for Bahrain. The quality of the projects produced proves the high quality of the participants and their desire to fully participate in the country’s future”.
All participants received certificates for hackathon completion during the closing ceremony of the Bahrain Urban Hackathon to honor their tremendous efforts and be recognized as one of Bahrain’s urban visionaries.
The hackathon is one of many initiatives launched in Bahrain by the EU Delegation to Bahrain, the French Embassy, Bahrain Authority of Culture & Antiquities, and Brinc to support local talent in innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.