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#WirVsVirus hackathon implementation programme

#WirVsVirus hackathon implementation programme

The Vodafone Institute provides startup funding, know-how and digital expertise in the German government’s Solution Enabler programme, which is part of the COVID-19 response effort.

The #WirVsVirus hackathon, the biggest-ever event of its kind, was organised in record time by the German government and civil society partners this March. Now the most promising projects and digital prototypes developed by more than ten thousand people during the hackathon’s 48-hour timeframe are being put into practice.

The German government has announced a large-scale support programme, under the patronage of the Federal Chancellery, with the Vodafone Institute as one of its implementation partners. The programme will initially run for a six-month period and aims to test solutions against the effects of Covid-19 as quickly as possible, as well as implement them on a broad scale.

An expert jury selected 130 projects from around 1.500 submitted ideas, for solutions to the social, societal and economic challenges associated with the Coronavirus crisis. The 130 projects of the #WirVsVirus Solution Enabler are summarized here.

Inger Paus, Managing Director of the Vodafone Institute, congratulated the teams behind the many excellent hackathon projects:

“The German government’s #WirVsVirus hackathon is an excellent example of the creativity and ingenuity that a state-civil society collaboration can unleash in the face of major societal and economic challenges such as the Coronavirus crisis. The Vodafone Institute has been addressing the issue of how technology can be used for the common good for some time already, so we didn’t hesitate to say yes when we were asked to support the Solution Enabler programme. This is a unique opportunity to facilitate the fast-track development of a multitude of sustainable solutions for healthcare and nursing, based on a collaboration between business and government, that will improve social cohesion and continue to have positive impacts beyond the Coronavirus crisis.“

The Vodafone Institute will be providing targeted support and funding to the #WirVsVirus hackathon follow-up, the Solution Enabler programme. Implemented by the social enterprise ProjectTogether, the “Solution Enabler” sets out to help the selected teams put their solutions into practice. The aim is to facilitate the fastest-possible testing and wide-scale implementation of solutions that will mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. The Vodafone Institute has provided startup funding for the Solution Enabler and it will be sharing its expertise and digital knowhow to support the programme. Next to the Vodafone Institute, the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt and Google will provide their support.

The Solution Enabler programme includes the following elements:

  1. Weekly sprints in the 12 action fields: Teams with solutions in the same action field work together as peer groups. Priorities are jointly set on a
    weekly basis and progress is shared to allow teams to learn with and from each other. Each peer group receives weekly feedback from experts and practitioners.
  2. Needs-based support with resources and expertise: Teams can request a variety of resources at any time via a digital platform – including infrastructure, pro-bono services or reach – and they have access to a curated pool of 300 experts.
  3. Piloting and scaling of solutions with implementation partners: Teams with promising prototypes are put into contact with public and private-sector
    institutions. This allows us to make sure they are taking advantage of synergies and can dock onto existing solutions.

A jointly organised online event launching the programme was opened today by Dorothee Bär from the Federal Chancellery. “Through the support programme the hackathon will become a marathon. We are confident that the selected projects can make an important contribution to helping us manage this crisis,” said the Minister of State for Digitalisation. The organisers also emphasised, “many of the solutions are prototypes. Reflecting the fact that the Coronavirus situation is changing from week to week, the teams and solutions have to be flexible, which is why rapid testing and adaptation are intrinsic aspects of the programme.