Projects born at Hack Belgium 2017
This is the list of projects that was invented and catalyzed at Hack Belgium 2017. Grab a drink, take a seat and prepare to be impressed by the overview.
Freelancer 2.0: Turn Your Midlife Crisis Into an Affluent Freelance Life
The job market has some big problems. One of those is that when people older than 55 lose their job, it’s very tough for them to find a new one. Understandably, employment programs focus on helping those 55+ spice up their CV and freshen up their interviewing skills. On top of that, they incentivise companies to hire from this demographic.
But what if instead of taking this curative approach, we would take a preventative, proactive one? Consider this: between the ages of 45 and 55, people are at the height of their career. At the same time, companies all around the world are working more and more project based. They don’t want to hire employees, they want to hire competent freelancers.
That’s what Freelancer 2.0 proposes: a way to help 45 to 55 year-olds transition into a freelance career. Notby becoming the type of freelancer that charges low prices and ruins the creative consulting market for everyone. But by becoming a freelancer that delivers good results and gets well paid. That way, companies’ needs will be better met – and the risk of unemployment is significantly reduced for this age group as they get a little older.
Practically, Freelancer 2.0 will be a smart platform making use of Artificial Intelligence to match these new freelancers with interesting work opportunities.
Shift 2 Green: Tax Benefits For Your Good Behaviour
Shift 2 Green wants to change the ecological behaviour of people and companies. To make that happen, it lobbies for a tax shift as an incentive to be greener and manage/reduce our ecological footprint.
The tax shift will work by transparently scoring the ecological accountability of people and companies. This scoring will be transformed into a certificate, that will be used as a taxable amount basis.
If you’d like to know more about Shift 2 Green, you can contact François.
Ethitag: Know the Ethics of What You Buy Online
Ethitag is a browser plug-in in the making which helps you make sustainable choices during your online shopping sprees. It will give you information about the sustainability of the brand and/or product you look at and it will offer you alternative choices.
Thus, when you’re looking at a new pair of jeans online, Ethitag will tell you how well those jeans score on ecological and human impact. If the jeans you’re looking at are horribly bad for the environment and produced by people who haven’t had a day off work in the past 15 years, Ethitag will immediately propose you better alternatives.
Niki is the main force behind Ethitag. Reach out to her if you want to collaborate!
Fabnet: IoT in Fablabs and Industrial Machinery
Fabnet is the simple yet smart idea of applying the Internet of Things to track the use of machines in Fablabs and production plants. Arguably, this idea wasn’t born at Hack Belgium. One of the Hack Belgium participants, David, had started working on it months before. But then his day job had taken over and he no longer found time to continue developing his idea.
During Hack Belgium he worked on something completely different – but he also talked to people about his IoT idea and went to workshops on design thinking and business development. He found his first client and the spark and courage to turn his idea into a real business. Which he is now doing, step by step.
Those are his words, by the way, that’s not just Team Hack Belgium blowing our own horn. Reach out to David if you want to know more!
North Sea Blue Platform: Energy, Water and Mussels
The North Sea Blue Platform, as it was defined during Hack Belgium, is a multifunctional island with energy generation, water desalination and aquaculture. In other words: the latest forms of solar panels, pumping systems and windmills create electricity. That electricity is used to turn seawater into drinking water. And in the middle of all that, mussels grow.
Go ahead and watch this video to see the story of how the North Sea Blue Platform idea took shape during the 3 days of Hack Belgium.
The North Sea Blue Platform is now part of De Blauwe Cluster (Blue Cluster). This is a private non-profit organisation with 56 partners. You can contact Laurenz-Frederik if you’d like to know more.
Retina: Early detection of Alzheimer’s
Why is an early detection of Alzheimer’s important? It’s important because it means you and your family can start planning ahead for tough decisions. And it’s important for science. At the moment, no treatment for Alzheimer’s exist. The more people get diagnosed in an early stage, the more research to develop a treatment becomes possible.
One of the teams at Hack Belgium worked on applying new eye-scanning technology to make an early, accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s possible. Their proposed solution was close to a solution that VITO (the Flemish Institute for Science and Technology) and KULeuven were already working on. This trailblazing technology is now being developed as part of the Retina project.
Watch the video of how this this idea came to life here!
And reach out to Kristin if you’d like to know more.
Kirschoff: Power Your House With Electricity From Your Car
If you live in Belgium, you probably stare each month at your electricity bill and wonder why in the world it’s so high. That’s because more than 50% of that bill has nothing to do with electricity; it’s all taxes and off-the-grid costs. Now, imagine you have an electric car. Or bike. Or any other vehicle that runs on electricity. Have you considered using that vehicle to pick up electricity where it’s cheap and then powering your house with it?
That’s exactly what Kirschoff proposes: picking up electricity where it’s produced (for example, at a grocery store that has solar panels), putting it in your vehicle and using it at home. It’s a whole new way of delivering electricity through a short supply chain – and a really good incentive for car buyers to opt for electric instead of fossil fuel.
To know more about Kirschoff you can contact Johan.
WEE-Engine: Convert Waste Heat Into Electricity
Almost all production processes create heat as a side product . This heat is often not used for anything. Which means uncountable amounts of megawatts of energy are lost every day. WEE-Engine proposes a solution to that by capturing this energy and converting it into electricity. It works by connecting the waste heat to an actuator, leading to mechanical motion, which generates electricity.
Want to know more about the WEE-Engine? Get in touch with Nicolas.
Democracy’s Roots: Online Information and Polling Platfo
Democracy’s Roots wants to return to the base principle of democracy: making people’s voices count. They are building a central polling platform. Citizens can use it to get information on political issues and express their opinion about them. And to see whether the decisions politicians are making are in accordance to what people want. Politicians can use it to make well-informed decisions. This goes for every level of government, ranging from municipalities to the federal level.
Is democracy your topic? Could you talk for hours about what the best way is to organize a public consultation in the 21st century? Contact Democracy’s Roots project leader Martin.
Custom Arcade Cabinets for Charity
This project is led by Steve, whose 11 year old son built a Star Wars Arcade Cabinet to raise money for charity. The arcade stood in the hallway of Steve’s office building, where people paid to play on the arcade. The money was then donated to charity. At Hack Belgium, Steve focused on turning this idea into a non-profit organisation. In this organisation, children and adults alike build arcade cabinets, that are then placed strategically to raise money for good causes.
Red Boxes: Find Operating Letter Boxes Around You
Eric and Luc came to Hack Belgium with a very specific hacking goal: making the data of where to find operating red letter boxes accessible. That way, when you want to send a letter – a real-life, paper, analogue, romantic, or maybe not romantic, but at least an important enough to find an envelope and a stamp, type of letter – you can.
So, put pen to paper and surf to red-boxes.be!
If you’re curious about how Eric and Luc obtained and processed the data, read the detailed blog post here.
Bruce Pepper helping you at Brussels Airport
Did you travel through Brussels Airport this summer? And did a rather cute, friendly robot assist your journey? That’s because at Hack Belgium, people from IBM and people from Brussels Airport met and worked on improving our journey through the airport. In the weeks after the event, the project was further developed and implemented.
Watch the video of how BRUce Pepper was born here!
Hack Space: Unleash Collective Intelligence Online
Hack Space is building the dream marriage between online collective intelligence and offline collaboration and experimentation. It’s a mobile and web platform that connects everyone who likes to play around with all things hackathon. It organises and facilitates, it recruits hackers, in short, it does everything you need to accelerate innovation.
Contact Bastien if you want to be the first to know when Hack Space is launched!
Is Hack Belgium only about projects?
No. Hack Belgium is about finding solutions to societal challenges. It’s about getting resources to people who have a burning desire to step up and make Belgium better. And not just financial resources, but also access, to expertise, to peers, to technology, to knowledge on business models and on how to get started if you’ve never led your own project before.
So beyond projects, Hack Belgium is about building partnerships, about learning design thinking, about figuring out how you’re going to survive the upcoming technology revolution. That’s what we want to help people with, and that’s why we hope to see you at Hack Belgium 2018.
by Kira Vde
November 15, 2017 — 19:42