By John Romankiewicz
This past weekend, nearly 50 participants from UC Berkeley, Berkeley Lab, and the Bay Area gathered for the third annual BERC Cleanweb Hackathon. The event was a huge success, and 10 teams made pitches at the end of the 24-hour event in front of a panel of judges, including Anna Schneider of WattTime, Elena Lucas of UtilityAPI, and Kate Knox of Advanced Microgrid Solutions.
The event kicked off with ideation and networking sessions that allowed participants to express their ideas to the group, meet each other and find teammates, as well as explore the feasibility of their idea. The teams then hacked Friday night and all day Saturday (see full photo set here) before giving a final five-minute pitch on their idea to the judges. The submissions were judged on potential impact, technical achievement, policy relevance, and next steps.
The suite of ideas was really diverse, from food justice to water equity and beyond. The teams participating (and their associated taglines) were:
- NeighborFood: A web app for neighbors to share extra ⇒ reduce food waste, distribute food to those in need, and use extras
- SunSwarm: Online marketplace for community solar
- NEMesis: Explore net metering policies and defeat the evil empire!
- NetFridge: Allows refrigerators to provide grid services and minimize carbon emissions using LMP & WattTime data
- PictureThis: See the renewable energy revolution at a human scale
- Emissions Renditions: Visualizing EPA criteria air pollutant data by county across the US and highlighting top offenders
- NIMBY China: Helping policymakers in China visualize how to make positive impacts on air quality and energy
- Team 402/Energy Globe: Visualize global energy patterns over time and how we can simplify them
- Water Equity: Multidimensional visualization tool for more equitable water usage and decision making in California
- Just Des(s)erts: Help communities, policymakers, and land owners take advantage of unoccupied spaces, build urban farms, and address food inequality
In the end, NetFridge won the prize for “best software addressing barriers to progress,” Energy Globe won the prize for “best visualization to support policy and action,” and Water Equity won the “people’s choice” award. Read more about the submissions at the Devpost page.
BERC would like to thank our host, the Berkeley Institute for Data Science (pictured below) and our partner, Big Ideas. Remember, if you want to take your ideas to the next stage, be sure to apply for the Big Ideas contest. The pre-proposal deadline is November 12.