Creative masterminds all over Australia participated in GovHack last month, with three Sunshine Coast teams taking out major awards at the State Awards ceremony in Brisbane this week.

From leveraging ocean currents, to powering Noosa or how trash makes us sick, 17 Sunshine Coast teams created real solutions to real problems, making use of new Open Data from a range of Queensland and Local Government agencies on many areas impacting the public.

 The winning Sunshine Coast teams were:

  • Youth team The RoboRoyals with their idea Trash Talk took out the Sunshine Coast Community Challenge and the Most Commercially Viable Product Challenge for identifying the health and clean up costs associated with litter and providing a smart tech litter unit solution, which builds on existing infrastructure.
  • Noosa Hydro team with their idea Noosa Hydro won the Sunshine Coast Sustainability Challenge for its ocean current electricity generator proposal to power all of Noosa.
  • The I’m Learning team with their idea Academic Connect won the Sunshine Coast Commercialisation Challenge for its solution of linking industry with academia to stimulate more real-world relevant honours projects.

“We felt it was vital to support this event as our partners Sunshine Coast Council, Noosa Council, RDA Sunshine Coast, Peregian Digital Hub and the University of Sunshine Coast (USC) all work together to help enable data hacking activity and support new skills development,” Regional Innovation Manager Coby Sullivan, Sunshine Coast Regional Innovation Pipeline Team (SCRIPT) said.

“GovHack is an excellent initiative as it provides a chance for Government agencies, students and industry innovators to come together in a supportive and fun environment and make great use of new open Government data for some pretty incredible outcomes.”

What started in 2012 as a small local event today has more than 3,000 participants across Australia data hacking over a 46 hour intensive weekend. GovHack celebrates technical and creative capacity, opens doors to collaboration with governments, and helps advance the use of open data to drive social and economic value.

This year saw an increase in youth participants on the Sunshine Coast, with participants from previous years’ attending alongside new competitors including the RoboGems and RoboKings from Chancellor State College and one competitor who was just 11 years old.

USC had 50 students participating to explore science data on disaster preparedness, sustainability, litter and traffic challenges with winning group Academic Connect taking out the win for the Sunshine Coast Commercialisation Challenge alongside seven honourable mentions for Sunshine Coast Teams.

“The benefit of working on ‘real-world’ problems and having exposure to ‘messy’ data was something quite a few students told me was really beneficial for them,” Dr Helen Fairweather, Discipline Leader Engineering USC said. “One of the youth competitors has also been offered work experience with one of the major sponsors Aurion which is a fantastic outcome to hear coming from the event.”

Teamwork makes the dream work! GovHack is a massive collaborative effort with local entrepreneurs and sponsor volunteers supporting participants. Volunteers pictured L to R: Edward Connolly (Aurion), Elisha Dibben (GovHack Sunshine Coast Event Coordinator) and Paul Grambauer (Edgity)


For more detailed information on Sunshine Coast winners, see below and visit GovHack under Queensland state and Sunshine Coast sections.

Queensland State winners

WINNER Most Commercially Viable Project: TrashTalk – ‘The RoboRoyals’ of Chancellor State College.

Honourable Mentions also went to these Sunshine Coast teams:

Queensland State – Sunshine Coast Themed Challenges awards

Sunshine Coast Commercialisation Category

Winner: Academic Connect (Sunshine Coast) – Academic Connect used 2018 intellectual property data and OECD innovation data to link businesses and academia so that honours projects reflect the innovation needs of industry.

Honorable Mention: Failacorn. (Sunshine Coast)

Sunshine Coast Community Category

Winner: Trash Talk By RoboRoyals, Chancellor State College (Sunshine Coast) – With access to ARHW, Queensland Government and Sunshine Coast Government data, this group identified the health and clean up costs associated with litter and invent a smart tech disposal unit solution designed to build on existing technology with more live data and features to address the ‘needed cultural change’ to lead us into an ‘advanced, pristine and sustainable future’.

Honorable Mentions: Get Active (Sunshine Coast) and Weather Wizard (Sunshine Coast)

Sunshine Coast Sustainability Category

Winner: Noosa Hydro (Sunshine Coast) – Using data on the East Australian Current, Noosa’s electricity consumption and population, the Noosa Hydro team proved that it was possible to power that region entirely from current ocean electricity mega generator technology with 4000M anchored from shorter storm-tolerant barges 100 km offshore from Noosa Heads.

Honourable Mention: Smart Ways to Live (non-Sunshine Coast)

GovHack 2018 infographic

Download GovHack Sunshine Coast 2018 infographic [PDF]