Emergency services and app developers unite for Motorola Solutions 2018 hackathon

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Australia’s public safety agencies will describe some of their greatest operational challenges and application developers will respond, racing the clock to build much needed technologies to make our communities safer.

That’s what to expect when public safety agencies and developers come together for the Motorola Solutions  2018 hackathon in Melbourne from May 14-16.

Now in its third year, the fast-paced event is designed to stimulate agile development and innovation with software developers creating new applications to help Australian emergency services work faster, safer and more productively.

Public safety organisations including Victoria Police, Victoria State Emergency Service, Ambulance Victoria and Crime Stoppers Tasmania will collaborate closely with developer teams on real world challenges they face in their daily work.

Developer teams will have just 44 hours to develop software applications to support first responders and other emergency workers. Participating app developers this year include online social impact firm BattlerzMastercom as well as student teams from Melbourne University, RMIT and Swinburne.

The winning team will be awarded AUD25,000 in prize money and support to grow its business and further develop its solutions to make them commercially available. Development firms will own full IP rights for any solutions they develop at the hackathon.

A new approach to innovation

When a major incident occurs, emergency services need dependable technologies and tools to securely share and receive real-time updates with other public safety agencies as well as to tap into broader information from the public and other sources.

This year’s event will utilise Motorola Solutions’ CommandCentral Aware platform to integrate a variety of voice, video and data intelligence sources that provide deeper insights for emergency services organisations.

The cloud-based platform is designed to provide agencies with a common, real-time operation picture of critical incidents as they unfold, drawing on multiple information sources from radio networks, CCTV, resource and location data and social media feeds.

CommandCentral Aware will also be used showcase the apps developed during the hackathon and to highlight the benefits of sharing the right information at the right time between public safety control room operatives and first responders working in the field.

Competition stimulates growth for Australian developers

Previous winners have experienced significant momentum and growth after participating in Motorola Solutions hackathons. Among former winners are Western Australian developer, Fleetsu, which used its victory to accelerate entry into new markets, increase its staffing levels and open a satellite office in Brisbane. Last year’s winner, Northern Territory-based business system developer Radical Systems, has also experienced considerable growth since winning its 2017 victory in the event.

“Our hackathons have really helped to accelerate growth and new opportunities for all participants,” said Steve Crutchfield, Vice President and Managing Director, Motorola Solutions Australia and New Zealand.

“Even more importantly, these events have helped Australia’s emergency services and developer teams to realise how much they can achieve together to address real world needs within the rapidly-changing public safety and security landscape.

“Working closely with developers through the hackathon also injects fresh energy into our business and complements the investment we continue to make with our growing graduate program.”

“Through the use of advanced command centre technologies including CommandCentral, this year’s event will take collaboration and solutions development between public safety agencies and developers to new heights,” Crutchfield said.

The 2018 Public Safety Hackathon will take place at PwC Melbourne on Riverside Quay from May 14-16.

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Paul Towers is a passionate supporter of the Australian startup ecosystem and the Founder of Startup Soda. Originally, Startup Soda was solely a newsletter that helped curate the best content from the Australian startup community, more recently however it has turned into a media platform with the aim of improving coverage of Australian Startups, Founders and VC's.

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