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RISE Center Partners with U.S. Embassy and KISR to Host the First Fishackathon in the Middle East

  • More than 40 cities around the world will compete during Earth Day weekend - Kuwait is the only participant from the Middle East
  • The Fishackathon will be held at AUK, sponsored by Gulf Telecom
The Center for Research in Informatics, Sciences, and Engineering (RISE) at AUK; the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait; and Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research (KISR) are pleased to co-organize the 3rd Annual Fishackathon in April 2016 at AUK.

The Annual Fishackathon (Fish Hackathon) is an international environmental initiative by the US Department of State to conserve marine life and sustainable fishery practices through technology solutions. The event calls on coders, designers, and science enthusiasts from all around the world to come together over a weekend to create new applications and tools to address issues in sustainable fishing.

The inaugural Fishackathon took place in 2014 in the United States. Last year, the second annual Fishackathon took place in 12 cities around the world. This year, the event has expanded to 43 cities on six continents, as well as a virtual hackathon. Kuwait has been added to the list this year to be the first country in Middle East to join the Fishackathon. This year the event is planned on April 21-23 in conjunction with Earth Day. The Kuwait local event will be hosted at AUK through RISE Center, under the sponsorship of Gulf Telecom, and in collaboration with Engineers Without Borders.

Participants from different institutions in Kuwait - including AUK and Kuwait University- will be competing in this two-day event in developing computer solutions that promote marine conservation practices. The teams will be supported by experienced mentors from both industry and academia, along with marine scientists from KISR. The winner of the Kuwait Fishackathon will advance to compete with 42 winners from around the world. A global judging panel composed of business, technical, and fisheries experts will review the submitted solutions from each site and select the grand prize winners, to be announced on World Oceans Day on June 8. One team will receive a $10,000 cash prize, and another team’s project will be further developed through a U.S. government contractor.

In preparation for the weekend Fishackathon, the organizing partners held a series of training workshops for participants at AUK and KISR premises, through which participants received information and training sessions in marine biology and technology.

Dr. Amir Zeid, Director of RISE Center at the American University of Kuwait, said "We are delighted to partner with the U.S. Embassy and KISR on this prestigious event. Utilizing technology to solve environmental marine biology issues aligns with the RISE Center mission to serve multidisciplinary research and development, as well as to contribute to the local community. We would like to thank our sponsors and collaborators and we look forward to seeing the outcome of this event, which I am sure, will produce innovative ideas to support the local environmental efforts."

The event kick-off will take place at KISR premises on Thursday 21st of April at 5 PM. The Fishackathon activities, along with results announcement will be held on April 22nd and 23rd at the AUK campus in Salmiya. This will be followed by an awards ceremony at AUK on Wednesday May4th.

About RISE:
The AUK Center for Research in Informatics, Sciences, and Engineering (RISE) serves as AUK's primary source for multidisciplinary research and development (R&D) activities. The Center employs a holistic approach to R&D by integrating academic disciplines, and forging connections between local & international innovators, academia & industry, and technology & society.

Images from the Fishackathon Preparatory Sessions

Released by the Office of Public Affairs on the 20th April 2016

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