Trento pilot: Open Data HackaBot Trentino 2018
‘Open Data Hackabot Trentino 2018’ (#ODHB 2018) is the title of the new hackathon organised by the Autonomous Province of Trento in partnership with several local stakeholders and local companies that is aiming to redefine how the Public Administration (PA) could collaborate with citizens and businesses to create real value from public data available and from easy-of-use technologies that are chatbots.
The hosting place, provided by URBAN INNO, was at University of Trento (Contamination Lab) and the event was organized by Provincia autonoma di Trento, jointly with Informatica Trentina, HIT (Trentino Innovation Hub, Trentino Sviluppo and with the help of some local experts in the field. The event, held on the 30th January 2018, was supported by 6 local ICT companies that provided mentorships and technological framework for developers. After a basic introduction of the technologies involved (opendata and chatbots), several real example of useful chatbot were showcased in front of more than 80 participants.
The hackathon had two objectives. The first is strongly connected with the INTERREG CE URBAN INNO project objective, to empower citizens and civil society with participatory instruments and experiences, creating a wider possibility to be part of the innovation process, to co-create with the PA and the stakeholders where and how it is possible to innovate, create new services and businesses with the direct contribution of the final users in the process. The second is connected with the INTERREG EUROPE OSIRIS project objective in order to address local stakeholders (mainly start-ups, companies, research and public administration) and to co-create a local action plan aimed at boosting a data driven economy in Trentino.
The ‘Open Data Hackabot Trentino 2018’ was trying to create a new collaboration model inside the quadruple helix, and hopefully to become an ‘almost normal’ way for the PA to work with citizens and businesses, so beyond Trentino and beyond 2018.
A specific web site was developed for the event, in order to support the entire organization process, started more than 3 months before, in the end of 2017, with the establishment of the board with a preliminary set of stakeholders, and between them some companies interested in the participatory process.
The ODHB2018 had a first public event in the 30th January 2018, with a half day workshop, inserted in the Trentino Sviluppo (the local development agency) Innovation Academy 2018 programme targeting businesses and potential business customers where the 6 involved companies and several other experts in the field of chatbot and opendata technologies has presented the state of the art and the potential for other businesses. The second public event was held on the 19th February, in the evening, at the University of Trento - Contamination Lab, and targeted the Solvers selected through the public call closed on the 15th February. Most solvers, selected by a jury of experts (51 were selected), attended this late hour event aimed to provide some additional information about the challenges and some technical knowledge to the solvers already grouped as required in 12 groups. In particular the objective for each group was to have a generic chatbot, and that target was reached.
The final public event was from 2-3 March 2018, at University of Trento - Contamination Lab, and it has been a great success, involving directly in the competition 51 solvers (mainly from University, but also from High Schools) as well as many other citizens during the two days, like PA clients, Experts, Mentors (but also simple citizens for testing purpose).
The HackaBot ‘Challenges’ were defined by the organizers in the collaboration with PA agency and offices, an in particular the hack involved the following PA structures: Provincial Unique Emergency Center – PaT - Civil Protection, Trentino Municipality Consortium, more specifically the municipality of Villedanaunia (TN), General Direction, PaT, MUSE – Trento Scientific Museum, APSS – Provincial Health Agency, APRIE – Provincial Energy Agency.
The result of the participatory action has been tangible with 11 experimental chatbot, licensed in open source, some more advanced some less, available online for testing purpose.
Through the hackathon, Informatica Trentina has made an impressive test about the effectiveness of hackathon as a methodology to stimulate bottom-up engagement and innovation, not only in a single urban area, but also jointly with other cities at the same time.
This experience will be made available for the other URBAN INNO partners as a part of the URBAN INNO Participatory Toolbox and as an impact results of the URBAN INNO local action in Trento.