Through the TechHack, Innotech crowdsources innovative ideas to utilize tools and technologies to build a digital Bhutan. The two challenge categories for the teams to participate in are; The Fix-It challenge and The Open Challenge. The proposed ideas under each category should provide an opportunity for immediate employment as well as a vision on technology exploration for future improvement. Moreover, the feasibility and scalability of the product are also important aspects of the DHI TechHack challenge.
The first ever DHI TechHack was held in November 2020 with the aim to ignite innovation and entrepreneurship to create a Bhutanese technology pathway. DHI Innotech also organized the event with a vision of inculcating an innovative platform and ecosystem for Bhutan.
The TechHack 2020 was active for a 48-hour window. During this time, teams were given access to mentors and internal support from InnoTech. At the end of the 48-hour period, teams had to conduct a demo in one of the challenge areas. After that, a panel of judges then evaluated their venture proposals.
Focus: Developing an intelligent document management system (DMS).
DHI is the largest sovereign wealth organization of the Royal Government of Bhutan. DHI is one of the largest economic institutions in Bhutan, With shares in 20 different companies operating in various sectors. Therefore, DHI and its group of companies handle enormous amounts of paper-based documents on a daily basis. In short, the essence of the “Fix-It” challenge of the TechHack is to develop an intelligent document management system to digitize and upgrade from the paper-based system.
It is up to the contestants to imagine the full featured solutions to meet this challenge. Ultimately, teams will have to create an MVP to automate the business process for the whole lifecycle ranging from content to creation and archiving capabilities.
Teams must explore and employ innovative technologies. For example, Optical character recognition, artificial intelligence powered by deep/machine learning algorithms, robust API integration, or other capabilities. It is then up to the teams to demonstrate their abilities to create a pioneering product!
Criteria for judgement:
– Features and functions,
– Feasibility and Scalability of product, and
– Innovative applications of technologies
Focus Themes: Smart Water, Smart Energy, Smart Mobility, Grassroot Innovation – Agriculture
The Open Challenge track of the DHI TechHack offers an opportunity for teams to work with DHI to tackle some of Bhutan’s most pressing problems. As a result, this challenge is a call to action aimed at the ideation and development of an MVP in technology areas that could significantly benefit Bhutanese society. In addition, teams should explore digital industrial technologies (Industry 4.0). This includes embedded solutions towards building products or services that ultimately commit to achieving a prosperous and sustainable Bhutan.
Applications should be centered on the following themes:
The criteria for judgment are:
29 submissions were received for the DHI TechHack, of which six teams were shortlisted for the Open Challenge and four teams for the Fix-it Challenge. Two teams also requested and were granted approval for remote participation.
The Open Challenge was won by the Smart Bins team that proposed bins modded with sensors that can compact trash after it reaches a certain capacity. The smart bin notifies city trash collectors regarding its location using GPS when filled to capacity. The winning team was awarded a cash price of Nu. 100,000 as a grant.
The Fix-it Challenge was a tie and the two winners Alpha Napster and Avant Garde split the winning cash prize of nu. 120,000/-. The cash prize was increased keeping in mind the two winners.
The winners are now collaboration partners of InnoTech, working to refine the product ideas prior to the launch of the start-up.
DHI is committed to supporting the winning teams’ solution for further development of the product, route to market, pilot testing, incubation, access to funding, building brand equity, and potentially securing initial clients to launch the product.