Victory for the UG team! Report from the first FarU Hackathon


First place for the 'SEA MATH' project submitted by physicists and mathematicians from the University of Gdańsk, three days of work, five thematic paths, 15 interdisciplinary teams, coaches and experts. For the first time, Fahrenheit Universities organised a hackathon that fostered entrepreneurship and idea development within the thematic tracks and inter-university cooperation and synergy.

All members of the Fahrenheit University community could participate in the competition: academic, teaching and administrative staff, as well as students and doctoral students.

‘We come together in the spirit of competition, but one that, on the one hand, enhances competence and will drive development, but also enables greater collaboration and closer ties between the communities of our three universities. This is one of the main objectives of the Fahrenheit Universities,' notes the Director of the Daniel Fahrenheit University Association in Gdańsk, prof. dr hab. inż Adriana Zaleska-Medynska.

‘It's a unique opportunity, with representatives from the Gdansk University of Technology, the Medical University of Gdansk and the University of Gdańsk at the same table, with different perspectives, giving a totally different context to projects, both technological and from a social approach to solving global problems,' says dr inż. Marita McPhillips from the Department of Entrepreneurship, Faculty of Management and Economics, GdańskTech, mentor of the first edition of the FarU Hackathon.

Academics from the three universities were able to get involved in a variety of ways: to compete, to join a group of experts, and, while still in the preparation stage, to express their opinions and contribute to the scope of the event, thanks to a survey conducted prior to recruitment.

The survey’s results contributed to the selection of five thematic tracks: FarU and Pomerania Cooperation Ecosystem, Civilisation Change, Energy and Sustainable Development, Food Safety and Quality and FarU for the Sea. Participants were tasked with proposing a solution to a specific problem or issue, and the projects submitted had business or social potential or supported effective FarU collaboration.

The work was launched on Friday, November 17. It was inaugurated by the Rector of the Gdańsk University of Technology, prof. Krzysztof Wilde, host of the event. The first day also included a team-building outing, which benefited the most the teams completed on the basis of individual applications.

On Saturday, participants gathered from as early as 8:00 a.m. They worked until late in the evening, with an agenda that included forum exercises, team time, and consultations with experts and mentors. This group of academics and practitioners offered support in developing an idea, selecting methods or tools and preparing for the final presentation to the competition jury.

‘We could ask a lady who works with business models on a daily basis how we can better put what we want to do into a portfolio and budget, and on the other hand, we could talk to an expert from the ports of Gdynia, who could bring us closer to the subtleties of the offshore industry,' says one of the participants, Jakub Gnyp, representing the University of Gdańsk.

‘I think that the hackathon is a good idea for all those who would like to gain new experiences and broaden their horizons in the business aspect,' says Janina Kowalik, a participant representing the Medical University of Gdańsk, 'This is a body of knowledge that is hard to acquire as part of the compulsory course of study.’

Such a model of activities brought participants not only benefits from acquired contacts and the ability to run a project in an interdisciplinary team but also the verification of hypotheses and broadening of knowledge in entrepreneurship.

'We met to help groups of students, but also academic staff and scientific experts, develop solutions that can either turn into a traditional or startup business or develop projects that can contribute to the development of an alliance between the three universities that co-found the Fahrenheit University Union,' explains Michał Misztal, CEO of Startup Academy, a company supporting FarU in organising the event.

The culmination of the intensive work was the Demo Day, i.e. the presentation of the developed concepts. Each team had three minutes to present their results in front of a jury and then answer insightful questions from its members.

The jury consisted of prof. dr hab. inż. Adriana Zaleska-Medynska (director of the Daniel Fahrenheit Association of Universities in Gdańsk), dr hab. n. farm. Małgorzata Grembecka (head of the Chair and Department of Bromatology at the Medical University of Gdańsk), dr hab. inż. Jacek Barański (professor at the Institute of Energy of the Gdańsk University of Technology), dr hab. Ewa Szymczak, prof. UG (director of the Centre for Didactic Improvement and Tutoring at the University of Gdańsk), Wojciech Drewczyński (co-founder and CEO of the international accelerator Space3ac) and Michał Misztal.

The awards were presented to the winners by the Chairman of the Assembly of the D. Fahrenheit Association of Universities in Gdańsk, the Rector of the Medical University of Gdańsk, prof. dr hab. Marcin Gruchała, Vice-Rector for Education of the Technical University of Gdańsk prof. dr hab. inż. Mariusz Kaczmarek, and Vice-Rector for Student Affairs and Education Quality of the University of Gdańsk dr hab. Arnold Kłonczyński, prof UG.

Podium of the FarU Hackathon

First place went to the 'SEA MATH' project submitted by physicists and mathematicians from the University of Gdańsk. Laura Grzonka, Jakub Gnyp, Dagmara Kurkowska, Marciniak and Małgorzata Szczekocka developed mathematical models to optimise the design and construction of offshore wind farms.

In second place was the 'Green Plate' project conceived by Amelia Dolińska (GdańskTech), Paulina Duch-Żebrowska (GdańskTech), Jakub Jabłoński (GdańskTech), Kornelia Wilk (GdańskTech) and Krzysztof Ziółkowski (GdańskTech). The initiative involves the creation of a competence hub to support the modernisation of large-panel blocks of flats with increased energy and thermal efficiency in buildings. 

Third place was awarded to the authors of the project 'DepressionControlApp': Szymon Bierzanowski (GdańskTech), Adrianna Czerwińska (GdańskTech), Krzysztof Pietruczuk (MUG) and Wojciech Rusinek (UG). The app would be comprehensive support for people struggling with depression, including biometric data analysis, the possibility of individualising therapy and quick contact with a help centre.

Also competing for the podium were:

  • ABOSenior - a concept for tasty, balanced, affordable meals delivered straight from local bars to seniors. The team consisted of Beata Chmiel, Szymon Jaskulski, Natalia Soldatke, Martyna Sudorów and Sandra Żukowska from UG.
  • Accessibility Centre - a unit bringing together experts in the field of disability, providing support for students, academics and researchers alike. Team composition: Krzysztof Dąbrowski, Anna Modrzejewska, Jakub Modrzejewski-Szeląg, dr inż. Paulina Strąkowska and Justyna Sudakowska from the Gdansk University of Technology.
  • CyberSkills - a platform for Generation X, building awareness and arming them with knowledge about online payment tools and online security. Team composition: Marcin Małas, Artur Mędrygał and Jan Tobolewski from GdańskTech and Kamila Mróz from UG.
  • ECODIVE - a project using biomicrogels and water drones to clean the sea, without interfering with the natural underwater ecosystem. Team composition: Marina Galanina, Marcel Skierkowski and Paweł Tumialis from GdańskTech.
  • FarU Connect - a solution that integrates the systems of three universities in a single application, facilitating access to necessary information and saving time for users of current portals. Team composition: Mateusz Chmielewski, Kamil Danecki, Wiktor Gawronski, Igor Stadnicki and Mikołaj Trzciński from GdańskTech.
  • FarU Link - an answer to the problems of the academic community in finding collaborators or accessing tools such as research equipment. Team composition: Daniel Cieślak (GdańskTech), Michał Dominów (UG), Szymon Królak (MUG) and Paulina Skrzypkowska (MUG).
  • H2Heat - an autonomous system to control the production and consumption of thermal energy, based on hydrogen solutions. Team composition: Filip Cesnowski, Gabriela Malyszko and Agnieszka Melerska from GdańskTech.
  • Let's connect - an application that integrates social networks and aggregates the functionalities of tools currently available in the market. Team composition: Konrad Nowicki, Przemysław Szumczyk and Artur Śpiewak from GdańskTech.
  • MindTracker - an application that improves the quality of work and comfort of life through, among other things, biometric data analysis, assistant support (AI) or workflow and management tools. Team composition: Janina Kowalik and Katarzyna Połomska from MUG and Maria Renke and Sathwik Prathapagiri from GdańskTech.
  • Scientific Fahrenheit - a project to integrate the FarU scientific community by promoting events and joint research projects. Team composition: Łukasz Arcimowicz (GdańskTech), Barbara Boruch (GdańskTech), Dzmitry Dauhalevich (GdańskTech), Agnieszka Kalinowska (GdańskTech) and Rafał Kowalski (GdańskTech).
  • Pack4U - biodegradable, edible food packaging responding to the needs and challenges of modern civilisation. Team composition: Agnieszka Bullmann and Wiktoria Jarosz from GdańskTech, Michał Klinikowski (MUG), Agnieszka Kopczyńska (UG) and Milena Supernak (GdańskTech).
  • StuddyBuddy - a comprehensive application supporting a student's life at the university and beyond, e.g., in the area of tutoring and acquiring competencies that increase competitiveness in the labour market. Team composition: Kacper Budniak, Kamil Schlagowski and Kamil Plewka from UG.

The teams that proposed solutions to support the ecosystem of cooperation within the Fahrenheit University Union will be invited to an additional meeting devoted to the possibilities of implementing the selected activities at FarU.

Special thanks go to the group of experts and mentors available over the weekend and supporting the participants' work on an ongoing basis, as well as to the Polytechnic Business Club PKB+ for supporting networking activities, the Spark*Gdańsk organisation offering consultations during conceptual work and the Innovation Scientific Circle of the Gdańsk University of Technology, thanks to which the chill-out zone was created.

On behalf of the university, the following came forward as experts: Agata Leśnicka from the Clinic of Developmental Psychiatry, Psychotic Disorders and Old Age of the MUG and Dr Anna Supernat, project leader of the EIT HEI innovAId project, Department of Translational Oncology of the Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology UG and MUG. From the Gdansk University of Technology: Alina Guzik, Chief Innovation and Development Officer, Faculty of Management and Economics; dr hab. inż. arch. Marek Wysocki, prof. PG, Rector's representative for accessibility; dr inż. Paweł Filipkowski, prof. PG, Department of Chemistry, Food Technology and Biotechnology, supervisor of scientific circles cooperating within the FarU; dr inż. Anna Kuczyńska-Łażewska, Department of Energy Conversion and Storage, Faculty of Chemistry; dr inż. Adam Inglot, Department of Geodesy, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Automation; dr inż. Sebastian Cygert, Chair of Multimedia Systems, Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics; dr hab. inż. Marita McPhillips, Faculty of Management and Economics; dr hab. inż. Marcin Łuczak, prof. PG, director of the Centre for Offshore Wind Energy, Institute of Shipbuilding, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Shipbuilding; and dr hab. inż. arch. Dorota Kamrowska-Zaluska, prof. PG, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Faculty of Architecture. From the University of Gdańsk: dr hab. Sylwia Mrozowska, prof. UG, Vice-Rector for Cooperation and Development; dr hab. Sylwia Badowska, Chair of Marketing, Faculty of Management; and dr hab. Dorota Burska, prof. UG, Chair of Chemical Oceanography and Marine Geology, Faculty of Oceanography and Geography.

The expert group was also joined by: Wojciech Drewczyński, co-founder and CEO of the international accelerator Space3ac, professionally connected with the investment department of the Black Pearls VC fund; Michał Daczuk, Project Manager, Port Morski Gdynia; Justyna Ratajczak, Managing Director of TBC Investment; Michał Gajda, project specialist at the Centre for Development Projects, Warsaw University of Technology; and Bogna Lesner, patent attorney, expert in innovation and entrepreneurship support, involved in the implementation of innovation policy in the Pomeranian Voivodeship.

Karolina Sienkiewicz/FarU