Hackathon invites Albertans to submit best ideas to flatten coronavirus curve and restore economy

Update, May 21, 2020: we announced the Hackathon winners.

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, April 16, 2020 -Alberta Innovates and Cybera have partnered to run a one-month data hackathon tapping the province's strengths in data science. The competition is open to data experts from all disciplines who have ideas about how to combat COVID-19 and move beyond the pandemic to begin restoring the economy. The COVID-19 hackathon began April 10 and will run until May 8.

More than 100 individuals and 24 teams from Alberta high schools, post-secondary institutions across Canada and even the United States have registered to participate in this hackathon which is open to all ages. It brings together data scientists, economists, students and everyday citizens to collaborate on a data science project that will provide understanding and context useful for Alberta or Canada. The intent is to provide a better understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic through data.

Participants will collect and curate worldwide open data, refine, transform and link that data to provide visualizations, utilizing the Alberta Data Institute's data analytics platform: These visualizations will assist in an understanding on how our efforts are working to "flatten the curve," and provide leaders with a data-driven context and comparisons for economic recovery for Alberta and Canada.

"We are encouraging teams to take unconventional and creative approaches with data to bring new insights to COVID-19," said Mark Diner, Director of the Alberta Data Institute. "As importantly, we want teams to look beyond this pandemic. The Alberta Data Institute (ADI) is well-positioned to support the province as it moves from health system response into community economic recovery."

"The world is dealing with incredibly complex problems right now, both in terms of curbing the COVID-19 pandemic and assessing the economic fallout from it. The amount of information available is too large for any one person or organization to fully grasp, which is where data science methodologies will prove vital," says Barb Carra, PhD, President & CEO of Cybera, Alberta's not-for-profit technology accelerator. "We are big believers in the effective use of data to drive public decision-making and are excited to be partnering with Alberta Innovates on this hackathon. The participants will create inspired data-driven ideas, generating new opportunities for Alberta to pursue as they move forward through these challenging times."

Alberta Innovates and Cybera have partnered with agencies including Elevate Consulting, Edmonton Health City, ThinkDataWorks, and Callysto to provide prizes for the best ideas.

Judging will be done by the partners, industry and academics.


Visit the COVID-19 hackathon webpage for full details.

Virtual Data Hackathon Prizes
Alberta Innovates: Best Approach Award $2,000
Elevate Consulting: Economic Recovery Analysis Award $1,500
Health City: Best Flatten the Curve Analysis Award $1,500
ThinkDataWorks: Best Individual Effort Award 3D Printer
Alberta Innovates: Post-Secondary Student Award $500
Cybera-Callysto: Best Under 18 Award Micro:bit Go kit

Video Tour of Mark Diner, Director of the ADI, will demonstrate the online portal, To learn more about the ADI, listen to Alberta Innovates' Shift podcast.

Cybera is Alberta's not-for-profit organization responsible for driving economic growth through use of digital technology. Our core role is to oversee the development and operations of Alberta's cyberinfrastructure - the advanced system of networks and computers that keep government, educators, not-for-profits, and entrepreneurs at the forefront of technological change. We work with our members to ensure a connected future for all Albertans.

Alberta Innovates invests in research, innovation and entrepreneurship to drive provincial economic growth and diversity. We provide technical expertise, entrepreneurial advice and support, opportunities for partnerships and funding to advance the best ideas. We support a broad range of research and innovation activity - from discovery to use. Collaboration is at the heart of what we do, bringing together bright minds and great ideas.

Find out how Alberta Innovates: