The second edition of Climathon Podgorica – a hackathon for solutions to climate change challenges – took place on 27 and 28 November in the capital city of Montenegro. Themed as “Turn green“, this year’s Climathon focused on sustainable mobility by exploring innovative ways to tackle transport challenges. The event was organised by NGO NEST, under the auspices of the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro and in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Capital City of Podgorica, UNIQA Insurance, Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro, Erste Bank, Eco Fund, Glovo and Red Bull.
A total of 10 teams took part in the competition. Their task was to come up with creative, sustainable and viable solutions designed either as a service or product and to be marketed either through a business or an NGO. At the end of the competition, a panel of judges named the top three teams, who won cash prizes and an opportunity to develop their ideas further.
A team called Parker won the first place and a cash prize of €3,000. The team, made up of Dražen Minić, Slaven Minić and Janko Dedić, designed a smart parking solution that aims to make it easier for drivers to find available parking spots. Specifically, their idea involves the installation of devices that will be connected to and exchange real-time data with a parking app, thus enabling users to choose the most suitable parking location and receive information on parking spot availability. Second place and a €2,000 cash prize was awarded to Green Mentors, a five-member team composed of Milena Vuletić, Svetlana Jovetić-Koprivica, Stefan Đurišić, Darija Šćekić and Anđela Anđušić. They devised a new educational programme named “I use the BUS and that’s my PLUS”, targeted at final year secondary school students in Podgorica and all other young people who need to change their attitude towards nature, but also towards themselves. Third place and a prize of €1,000 went to the team called Digital Trail, made up of three ladies – Mia Mugoša, Neda Dedović and Zoja Šćekić, who plan to create a smartphone app for parking e-scooters.
In addition to cash prizes, the three winning teams will receive mentor support from experts in various fields, who will monitor further development and implementation of their ideas.
The organisers from NEST said they were satisfied with the event and that they were looking forward to further refining of the winning ideas with the aim of improving the quality of life.
“We are very glad that this year as well we have managed to contribute not only to raising awareness of climate change, but also to inspiring concrete action to address the challenges that we all face. We can now say that Climathon Podgorica is becoming our annual tradition and we are happy to be able to bring this global movement closer to Montenegro,” the organisers said.
The EU-supported Climathon Podgorica was opened by Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro, Ambassador Oana Cristina Popa.
“One of the pillars of the European Green Deal is a transformation of the transport sector towards more sustainable and carbon-neutral solutions. At the same time, transportation must be available and affordable for all. This is not an easy task, and that is why we rely on you, people who participate in initiatives such as Climathon, people full of new ideas and innovative ways how to implement them. With your knowledge about digital technologies and enthusiasm to bring positive change to society, you are our best hope to address the multi-faceted problem of climate change,” the Ambassador said.
Climathon is a global initiative launched in 2015 by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and powered by Climate-KIC, a knowledge and innovation community focusing on developing solutions to tackle climate change. It is a collaborative event that brings together cities and citizens to co-create local ideas to shared climate challenges.
The only climate change hackathon in Montenegro took place in a hybrid format, with participants joining via Zoom and others being able to follow a livestream from the NEST coworking space via social media.