“Hackathon” winners to receive support from CSIC

The winning group at work.
The winning group at work

The winners of Scotland’s first construction “hackathon” will have their concept for a digital built heritage tool supported by the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC).

The Hack_Construct event took place in Glasgow recently and saw 65 professionals from the construction industry and digital experts come together and “work on solving construction challenges via digital solutions”.

Event co-founder, Ryan Tennyson, of WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, said, “The concept of hackathons as a way of unlocking new ideas and digital solutions may be relatively new in the construction industry, but they have been used in the tech industry for close to a decade.

“They expose talented software developers, data scientists, web designers and gamers to opportunities in an alternative sector, whilst giving construction industry professionals a glimpse into what can be achieved through involving different people, technologies and skillsets.”

Five concepts were developed with the Best Overall Innovation going to a digital build heritage tool, called GeniLoci, which “combines cloud servers with the latest gaming technology to link various sources of information and encourage new content”.

Architect Natasha Huq, leader of the winning team, said, “We’d like to see recent developments in technology being applied in an accessible and useful way to encourage on-going community engagement and bring alive the stories of the Closes, not just for tourists but for everyone interested in our built heritage.”

The winning team will be supported by CSIC in taking the project forward, which may involve facilitation and academic support.

Event co-founder, Darren Lester, of SpecifiedBy, said, ““The judges were impressed by the winning team’s collective enthusiasm, experience and skillsets, which over the course of the weekend developed a concept into a potentially marketable platform, complete with supporting technology and integrated apps.”

The event was delivered in partnership with CSIC and was supported by Innovate UK, the Data Lab Scotland, BIM 2050 and the Knowledge Transfer Network.

Stephen Good, chief executive at CSIC, said, “We are really excited about helping the winning idea move forward. The construction industry is changing, and digital solutions to problems are key to the industry moving with the times.

“Hackathons are a fantastic way to harness innovative ideas such as this one, and to demonstrate to the construction industry just what can be achieved.”

He added, “We’ve had extremely positive feedback on Hack_Construct. We hope this will be the first of many hackathons supported by CSIC, and that they will provide us with a steady pipeline of exciting new opportunities to support.”