Hackers help communities combat effects of dangerous floods at Europe’s biggest hackathon
Team “Res-Queue” wins the Xylem Water Challenge award at HackZurich2021 with a decision support system that helps optimize rescue operations during floods
RYE BROOK, N.Y.- Global water technology company, Xylem, today congratulated a team of hackathon participants that has come up with a new way to respond to abrupt flood events. Team Res–Queue won HackZurich 2021’s Xylem Water Challenge with their innovative solution to help people affected by dangerous flooding intensified by climate change.
Participants were asked to create an interactive platform where lifesaving information and updates can be accessed and shared within seconds by communities affected by flooding events. The winning team achieved this over a non-stop 40-hour hackathon event in Zurich, Switzerland. The Res-Queue team developed a decision support system that assigns danger levels to help rescue units optimize their response, using machine learning models based on real-time images and video.
“Our mission is to solve the world’s greatest water challenges, and the solutions are increasingly going to be digital,” said, Hayati Yarkadas, Xylem’s President for Europe. “The participants in our HackZurich water challenge are inspiring examples of a new generation of talent that is passionate about solving real-world problems and making the world more sustainable. As this years’ devastating floods across Europe showed us, we’re at a critical time for water, and we need all their passion and ingenuity.”
“Solving this flood management challenge is very important to us as it saves lives,” said Res-Queue team member Matan Levy. “What can be more important than that? Water is life – it saves lives, however, it can take lives as well.”
“It was really great to see participants use Esri tech to tackle natural threats and provide meaningful solutions to support decision making for flood incident response,” commented Arno Fiva 3D Developer Evangelist at the Zürich R&D Center of Esri, one of Xylem’s technology partners.
The United Nations predicts that, due to climate change, the number of people at risk of flooding will increase to 1.6 billion by 2050.
Xylem’s participation at HackZurich2021 is part of the Xylem Ignite program, a global initiative to build and empower a network of student leaders passionate about water solutions and driving change in the water industry. It has already engaged over 6600 students in learning about and solving water challenges.
Xylem (XYL) is a leading global water technology company committed to solving critical water and infrastructure challenges with innovation. Our more than 16,000 diverse employees delivered revenue of $4.88 billion in 2020. We are creating a more sustainable world by enabling our customers to optimize water and resource management, and helping communities in more than 150 countries become water-secure. Join us at www.xylem.com. For more information on Xylem Ignite: https://www.xylem.com/en-gr/sustainability/community/xylem-ignite/
HackZurich is Europe‘s largest and most renowned coding marathon. It’s a platform where brilliant and diverse minds work together on new ideas and concrete outputs to increase innovation capability. For more information on HackZurich: https://hackzurich.com/
Esri, the global market leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, location intelligence, and mapping, helps customers unlock the full potential of data to improve operational and business results. Founded in 1969 in Redlands, California, USA, Esri software is deployed in more than 350,000 organizations globally and in over 200,000 institutions in the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, nonprofits, and universities. Esri has regional offices, international distributors, and partners providing local support in over 100 countries on six continents. With its pioneering commitment to geospatial information technology, Esri engineers the most innovative solutions for digital transformation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics. Visit us at esri.com.