Local hackers have shared in $3000 of prizes from the 2016 GovHack competition which aims to uncover new digital products and services that can benefit the community.

Digital geeks, entrepreneurs, creative technologists, and savvy creators came together over the weekend of July 29-31 for the event, held simultaneously in 9 locations across Australia and New Zealand, with the Sunshine Coast event being held at Spark Bureau.

Councillor Brian Stockwell from Noosa Council presented the Sunshine Coast awards at the GovHack Queensland State Awards on Friday, 2 September 2016 in Brisbane.

Sunshine Coast creative technologist Mic Black won the Spirit of GovHack award, and took out the Spirit of GovHack Queensland State Title for creating the ‘random idea generator’ and his tireless volunteering to make GovHack Sunshine Coast a success.

Local category winners included Dr. Mark Utting, Michael Conolly, and Lin Liu from team Community Companion who took out the Sustainability category, with their device for the elderly and disabled to make it easier to engage people and make them feel less isolated. Community Companion also won the Queensland Age Friendly Community category, sponsored by the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services, Queensland Government.

Katie Brander and Matt Ryan from team Jam Berries took out the Community category for their project on how open data can be used to benefit the disadvantaged and benefit local community groups.

Johannes Klupfel, Daniel Bryar, Adam de Baugh and Jason Discount from The Coding Collective team won the Commercialisation category for their web-based resource that facilitates the best application of human resources to industry requirements to support commercialisation on the Sunshine Coast.

Darrell Edwards, CEO of Regional Development Australia (RDA) Sunshine Coast, said the collaborative nature of participants, volunteers and mentors during the weekend event and the quality of teams and projects were impressive. Congratulations to all teams and thank you to all volunteers and mentors who made the event a success.

“Sunshine Coast GovHack participants once again showed the diversity of talent and skills we have in our region, and cemented our place as a regional hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. GovHack is one of many local events RDA is involved with to support the start-up community and encourage the adoption of digital skills,” said Mr Edwards.

Sean Bannister and Mic Black will be attending the International GovHack Red Carpet Awards in Adelaide, as selected representatives of the Sunshine Coast.

GovHack is an annual open data competition. Teams have 48 hours to create a project page, proof of concept and a video that tells the story of how government open data can be reused, often presented as innovative community apps, gadgets, games, or artistic displays.

GovHack Sunshine Coast was made possible by local sponsors Noosa Council, Sunshine Coast Council, Unity Water, University of the Sunshine Coast, Regional Development Australia Sunshine Coast, and venue sponsor Spark Bureau.