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India-Sweden digital hackathon seeks sustainable transport solutions

India and Sweden will host a 42-hour hackathon, the ‘Sweden-India Mobility Hackathon: Changing the way we move!’. The hackathon is a designer sprint-like event where participants collaborate intensively on digital innovations to create solutions around mobility to tackle issues regarding safe and sustainable transportation.

The Embassy of Sweden, the Consulate General of Sweden in Mumbai, and the Swedish Institute are organising the event. Participants will work on a set of predetermined challenges, like lethal accidents in traffic, safe and sustainable transport, air pollution/emissions from the traffic sector, infrastructure for connected vehicles and sustainable logistics.

In a statement, the organisers said that the event aims to design, test, and execute ideas for the future. It will take place from 26-28 February. The organisers have invited students, entrepreneurs, innovation enthusiasts, developers, designers, creatives, and mobility experts across both countries to join the hackathon.

The Ambassador of Sweden to India said that sustainable transport and road safety are areas that the two governments have been deeply engaged in. As emissions, traffic accidents, and inefficient traffic flow characterise more and more of the world’s major cities, the hack aims to develop solutions to these problems.

The Consul General of Sweden in Mumbai noted that innovation is at the heart of the Sweden-India relationship, and safe, sustainable transport has grown immensely as a vital new area of co-operation. The Sweden-India Mobility Hackathon is expanding this partnership, providing a strong platform for students, start-ups, companies, and experts from the two countries to co-create new solutions for mobility.

The event is supported by several Swedish and Indian partners including startups, incubators, research institutes, innovation cells, road safety organisations and companies in sectors of sustainability, automotive and transport.

According to the statement, the theme of the hackathon has a strong connection to the “joint innovation partnership” that exists between India and Sweden and the Sweden-India Transport Safety and Innovation Platform (SITIS), which was launched in February last year.

The participants will have access to a unique network of major Swedish and Indian companies and institutes and will work to solve questions based on open data sources. The winners will get to pitch ideas and receive guidance from the partners to further develop, realise and implement their solutions.

Institutions and universities are also invited to join as key partners in recruiting talent, providing guidance, and supporting co-creation, innovation, and sustainability. Further, professors, leaders, engineering, transport, and creative experts are also encouraged to enroll as Mentors whose aim would be to guide and support their assigned teams on the mobility challenges.

The Head of the Office of Science and Innovation of the Embassy of Sweden in New Delhi stated that the global demand for safe and sustainable transport solutions is tremendous. With the mobility hack, the sides are giving students and entrepreneurs an opportunity to co-create and strengthen the “already strong partnership”.

To reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels, the government is working to boost the electric vehicle (EV) market. In a step toward this goal, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways announced that it plans to formulate a policy to institutionalise research and development on the next generation of battery technologies for EVs, such as metal-ion, metal-air, and hydrogen fuel cells.

As OpenGov had reported on the announcement, the alternatives are to replace lithium-ion batteries and reduce the number of these imports within the decade.

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