A UCJC project draws the greatest support at the Madrid Region virtual hackathon #VenceAlVirus

The University Camilo José Cela collaborative platform for the supply and demand of healthcare material and PPE, the Helpacket, has been the most voted project in the virtual hackathon #VenceAlVirus, promoted by the Ministry of Science, Universities and Innovation of the Madrid region.  It has been one of the 15 projects selected to present an elevator pitch on Monday the 13 May before a panel of experts and collaborating entities.

Helpacket takes stock of healthcare material and PPE at companies and in the possession of individuals and, on the other hand, assesses the needs of these materials in the least well-stocked healthcare institutions, elderly care homes and groups. The platform then sorts the requests taking into account different criteria, tackling the lack of supply of healthcare materials aiming to connect manufacturers, people working from home producing different types of healthcare material and users.

This project was designed by Carlos Carrillo, Hugo de Castro and José Ramón Fernández, students on the Degree in Transport and Logistics at UCJCRafael Villa, professor of the Degree in Transport and Logistics and the Master’s in Logistics and Supply Chain Business ManagementJosé Manuel Villa, former director of Digital Channels at BBVA; Delia Rodríguez, business mentor for the Madrid Knowledge Foundation; Juan Principe, creative copywriter at the C&W advertising agency; and David Moreno, Dean of the School of Science and Technology at University Camilo José Cela.

Helpacket users will be able to choose between offering or requesting medical equipment. The collaborative platform will then show a list of the products offered or, in the case of manufacturers, a list of the products that are needed.

The virtual hackathon entitled Madrid #VenceAlVirus featured 758 projects involving scientists, university students, innovative professionals and civil society seeking answers to the great challenges posed by COVID-19, with the ultimate goal of selecting fifteen projects for immediate implementation. Fifteen finalist projects were short-listed by a committee of experts, following criteria of mentors and experts, from a total of 244 projects.

The project presented by University Camilo José Cela took first place, with 319 votes from the hackathon expert committee chosen by the Madrid Region, which selected a total of fifteen proposals among university and research talent for the search for specific solutions to health challenges. These challenges included alleviating the negative effects of COVID-19 on people and the overall community, caring for people during epidemics or lockdowns in the coming months and challenges for jobs and business, to create, maintain and improve existing jobs and define a new framework for more resilient employment.

Among the Madrid bodies and businesses making up the ecosystem taking part in the virtual hackathon #VenceAlVirus were MediaLab Prado, the collaboration platform MIDE – Madrid Innovation Driven Ecosystem, the Madrid Institute for Advanced Software Studies (iMdea Software) and all the full force of Madrid’s public and private universities.

Participating multidisciplinary teams are made up of professionals from higher education, research sector, entrepreneurs, businessmen and members of civil society from the maker movement, citizen scientists and students, among others.