The City of Fremantle and Notre Dame University have partnered to secure Fremantle as the WA host location for the largest open data hackathon in the southern hemisphere, GovHack.
GovHack is an international competition in which people can access local, state and federal government data and use it to develop innovative apps and concepts to solve some of the modern world’s big problems.
For example, in a previous GovHack state government shark hazard data was used to develop a new approach to track shark activity along WA beaches.
Across the weekend of 6-8 September, thousands of innovators will come together across Australia and New Zealand to form teams, agree on projects, and participate in what has become one of the world’s largest open data competitions.
As the host of WA’s primary GovHack site, Fremantle will welcome hundreds of tech enthusiasts across the weekend.
The event hub will be located at Notre Dame University’s Prindiville Hall, but participants will also be encouraged to use a variety of spaces throughout Fremantle – including bars, cafes, restaurants and public spaces – as their workspace.
Participants will develop their ideas and working prototypes in teams over the weekend and then present them in a pitch style event on Sunday.
Prizes linked to certain themes are up for grabs in order to guide participants towards solving certain challenges.
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said GovHack represented a significant opportunity for Fremantle.
“The partnership between the City of Fremantle and Notre Dame University is part of a longer term approach to position Fremantle as a centre of excellence in education, technology and innovation,” Mayor Pettitt said.
“GovHack is a great way to engage the immense talent and creativity we have in Fremantle as we continue to work towards becoming a smart city.”
GovHack WA State Director Sue-Ellen Shaw said it was important to provide an inspiring and motivating event venue so participants could work within a creative environment and generate innovative ideas.
“Fremantle will be the perfect location for WA’s GovHack event given its vibrant streets, heritage architecture and array of inspiring spaces,” Ms Shaw said.
“The support of the nationally recognised Notre Dame University, the City of Fremantle and presence of a strong creative community made it an easy choice.”
Notre Dame Australia’s Chief Operating Officer Clare Stanford said there was a wide range of education and innovative research being carried out in Fremantle.
“Fremantle is a knowledge city in the truest sense. The university delivers a nationally recognised curriculum of tertiary level education and is also engaged in research across a variety of sectors,” Ms Stanford said.
“Being located in the city centre alongside other important education institutions such as TAFEWA and specialist training centres makes Fremantle a hub for skilled and creative people.
“We’re working closely with the City of Fremantle to spread this message and attract even more of WA’s most gifted innovators.”
GovHack will be held in Fremantle on 6-8 September alongside a range of other regional WA events including Albany, Geraldton, Mandurah and Port Hedland.
The event is open to anyone who wishes to participate no matter what their background or skill level. Participation of people without technical knowledge is encouraged as it creates more diverse range of skills across teams.