Tomáš Očenáš, CEO of Campus Cowork: Digitization and innovations for effective public administration (and why we look forward to this challenge)


Campus Cowork in cooperation with the Ministry of Investment, Regional Development and Informatisation of the Slovak Republic organizes a series of hackathons, which aims to bring innovative solutions that will simplify the transition to digitization of public administration processes.

Do you have a team of people who like innovation, can invent creative solutions in a short time, or design a way to change the usual processes using digital technologies? The project might just be for you!

Today we interviewed the CEO of Campus, Tomáš Očenáš.

In the interview you will learn how the project was created and what its goals are, but also what you can get if you participate in the challenges.

Why did Campus join the project?

From the moment I first entered Campus, I felt the strong energy and enthusiasm that radiated from the people around me. Campus community is full of enthusiasts and talented people who want to be part of great things. When we heard about the project, I knew that our space, community and experience would be perfect for it. is a project that has no parallel in Slovakia and has the potential to bring real changes for the better. I’m glad we managed to be involved.

What is the main goal of the project?

The goal of the project is to bring innovations and modern solutions to public administration processes. The project coordinator and the owner of the topic of the first Hackathon, which takes place in Campus Cowork this weekend, is the Ministry of Investment, Regional Development and informatisation of the Slovak Republic (MIRRI), which for this purpose has chosen the format of hackathon. We consider this solution to be the best possible journey that will meet creative people, IT experts, and innovation enthusiasts during a short but intense event to invent and introduce a digital product to a specifically created challenge.

You mentioned the first hackathon in Campus, what challenges will the participants address?

The theme of the first hackathon is the fight against disinformation and media literacy. MIRRI decided on this topic for its timeliness and threat, which is not solved by the current situation in society. Hackathon, named Let’s hack disinformation, offers two challenges from which competitors can choose. The first is demasking disinformation, their recognition using smart technologies, marking an automated form and verifying information from social networks. The second challenge is to raise awareness of society about the dangers of hoaxes, finding an interactive way for recognizing harmful content and testing media literacy.

Hackathon is a fairly well-known type of event or competition today. What benefits does offer? Can they win something?

The first and probably the most attractive benefit is the possibility to cooperate on creating a solution with a society-wide impact. The first three winning teams will share the prize money altogether worth 6000 euros. However, hackathons come with another added value. It is a possibility to expand your network within the startup and tech community and have a productive team building with your team that is not forgotten.

How is the preparation of the first hackathon going? Are there many people interested in participating?

Hackathon Let’s hack disinformation is a challenge for us, but at the same time the opportunity to be part of a project with a society-wide impact, for which we are extremely happy. The word hackathon originated from the English words “Hack” and “Marathon”, which symbolically describe this project. It is a long-distance run, full of innovation, ideas, work and hacking. We have seen people’s interest growing until the last moment, so we extended the possibility of signing up until tomorrow, October 5.

What happens to the winning solution?

The best teams will be part of the dialogue towards implementing the solution to meet the needs of the owner of the topic, ie MIRRI. The winning team concludes a license agreement that does not limit the author in the spread of his work as part of his commercial activities but the topic owner can distribute the license within the public institutions. The author, the winning team, remains the owner of the work.

Would you like to refer something to the participants or those interested in participating in other hackathons?

Probably just briefly, come ahead! I perceive hackathon as a great opportunity to show your creativity, get valuable feedback and maybe learn something new. In this case, in my opinion, participation is a great decision, because the decision itself will be involved with a lot of benefits.

We thank Tomáš for the interview and we look forward to what this initiative will bring to us. Do not forget that you can only send the application for the first hackathon until tomorrow.

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