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HACKATHON: Help Groningen turn the Oostpolder into the business park of the future!

Check our Oostpolder hackathon trailer!

The Oostpolder: A unique location covering 600 hectares in the north of Groningen, The Netherlands. Situated between small villages, agricultural land and the Eems Harbour, as well as being strategically positioned in 'the green energy socket of the Netherlands'.

Here, the municipality of Het Hogeland and the province of Groningen are developing a green and sustainable business park with exceptionally large plots (50 hectares or more), intended for large innovative companies that require a great amount of resources such as space, energy and/or electricity. Think high-tech. Think sustainable and renewable energy. Think green hydrogen. But most of all, think big.

Our ambition, however, goes further than just accommodating large scale companies on a innovative, sustainable park. We are challenging teams form multiple backgrounds and from all over the world to find the answer to the question: how can we make The Oostpolder a global example of a future-oriented business park? A business park where we not only try to limit the negative impact on the environment and society as much as possible, but also where the companies on the site, the local residents and other stakeholders in the region can benefit from maximum positive effects this development has on the environment and society as a whole?

The Oostpolder - The first future-proof business park that not only accommodates large scale innovative companies, but that also enables companies to have a positive impact on their own direct environment and contribute to the quality of life and broad prosperity in the area where they do business. 

Our challenge

We are looking for innovative solutions or applications that, for example, ensure that the business park provides energy for the environment instead of emitting harmful substances. Or that looks so attractive that people might even decide to stop and have a closer look, instead of quickly driving straight on by. We want you to help us create an area where established companies cooperate optimally in the field of energy and raw materials, and where they jointly give an impulse to the various (physical and social) characteristics of livability, based on their involvement in the area and in society. In short, an area where the immediate surroundings experience benefit rather than burden and which inspires parties from all over the world to establish business in a new way. 

How can we make the Oostpolder the business park of the future?

The first business park that not only offers space to innovative companies, but one that succeeds in adding value to the immediate surroundings and to regional society in both the short and long term?

The first site that demonstrably contributes to the broad prosperity of the surrounding area?

Where solutions in the areas of noise, energy, water, light, labour market, biodiversity and spatial quality come together with the wishes and interests of residents, surrounding villages and regional businesses?

Bounty 1: At the level of the site itself.
We are looking for the best solutions in terms of innovation, crossovers and activity. How can companies on the site, individually or collectively, by means of new business processes and business models, create positive emissions or raw materials that add value? How can we by means cooperation and open innovation realize scalability, staying well within the realms of what is permitted in terms of noise, environmental effects, light pollution and safety?

Bounty 2: Impact on society and the living environment.
We are looking for the best solutions to ensure that the development of the Oostpolder area and the ongoing exploitation of the site will contribute to broad prosperity. Both for now but also for the future and from the point of view of involvement with the surroundings and the region, by clearly having a positive social, economic, spatial and/or ecological impact.

Who can participate?

We are looking for teams of start-ups, established companies, international companies, students, knowledge institutions, residents of the area or a combination of these.

How will you help Groningen to make the Oostpolder the business park of the future?

If you are interested in participating in the hackathon, but you don’t have a team yet, don’t hesitate and enlist! There is plenty opportunity to either join other teams, or to contribute as a stakeholder, member of a citizen test panel or otherwise.

How do I sign up?

You can register a team by clicking the “register now” button below. No team yet? No worries. Sign up, come to the first workshop and we’ll take it from there!

The Oostpolder hackathon takes places in a new, interactive, digital 3D world, developed by Odyssey Momentum for the National Program Groningen (NPG, Nationaal Programma Groningen) called the NPG Metaverse. This mass collaboration platform uses gaming techniques to enable teams, jurymembers, stakeholders and other participants to come and work together in a virtual environment. Users can talk to each other via video conferencing, brainstorm on virtual whiteboards and create their own virtual office space to show everybody what they are working on, with whom, and how others can contribute. The 3D world helps you to connect to other teams, challenge leads, stakeholders and other partners that can help you move you plan forward.

To use the platform:

  • You need to use a desktop or laptop (platform is not yet mobile accessible)
  • You need to create a Momentum account – instructions will follow after the closing of the registration deadline (October 5)
  • You need to use Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome as your browser
  • Do not create an account and/or login via your corporate account or network or via remote desktop applications. These will block Momentum.

What are we looking for? A winning team will:

  • Will at the end of the hackathon deliver a proof of concept, business case or prototype that proves the minimal negative impact or even positive impact on the environment of their idea (in terms of noise, light, labour market, safety, energy and commodities, etc.). Your team proves that your solution is both technically and financially feasible. (Quality of the business case)

  • Shows that their team is capable and willing to collaborate with stakeholders and change their own ideas based on stakeholder input. The team is able to grow and challenge their ecosystem. (Ecosystem alignment).

  • Proves that stakeholders are enthusiastic and willing to contribute to and invest in their pilot plans. You need to be ready to start pilot within 6 months. You work together with stakeholders in order to validate and prove the positive impact of your solution. (Pilot support)

  • Shows that their solution is in fact a breakthrough – with this solution, we can do something that we couldn’t do before). (Quality of the solution).

What we are looking for in a team:

  • Teams should prove affinity with and knowledge of green and sustainable innovation, green energy and/or high tech solutions
  • Teams should be able to connect the perspective of tech innovation and crossovers with the perspective of broader well being and prosperity in the region
  • Teams should demonstrate the ambition and ability to work together and realize crossovers with other participants
  • Teams should demonstrate creativity, willingness and ability to work together with stakeholders (for example in realizing their demand in commodities and resources or finding solutions for their waste streams)
  • Teams should demonstrate the ambition and its energy to take the outcome of the hackathon forward with the ecosystem stakeholders

What’s in it for you?

  • There is € 25.000 prize money and we have 2 bounties with possibly multiple winners. There is pilot support available for winning teams.Work in a unique setting with new colleagues on innovative solutions
  • Find new networks
  • If you win, your brand awareness in your field of expertise can increase
  • PR exposure in a broad network of the public domain

With your input, we can create the business park of the future and set an example for all future business parks!

Planning – important dates to save to your calendar immediately

  • October 5, 17:00 – registration deadline

  • October 19, 14:00 – 17:00 First preparation event, in the NPG Metaverse
    (yes it’s online, and yes it’s a 3D world created for mass collaboration and open innovation) – further details will be provided after registration deadline

  • October 31, 14:00 – 17:00 Second preparation event, NPG Metaverse

  • November 9, 14:00 – 17:00 Third and final preparation event, NPG Metaverse

  • November 17 & 18 – GAME TIME! Two day hackathon in the NPG Metaverse

Voorbeeld NPG Metaverse