Teams of energetic programmers gathered in the Elephant House at Zoo Vienna Schönbrunn for a Zoohackathon organized by the U.S. Embassy and the Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs. This event was part of a global initiative by the U.S. Government. Ambassador Trevor Traina opened the event and pointed out the importance of tackling the pressing global challenges in protecting our nature by the next generation’s most brilliant minds.
The teams were given 24 hours to develop innovative tech solutions to help authorities prevent illegal wildlife trafficking and poaching. The first prize, donated by BAWAG/PSK, went to “Un-Smuggle,” helping police and customs authorities identify smuggled wildlife. The second prize, from Subway Austria, went to “Syndicate,” using drone imagery to detect poachers. The winners in the 15 participating countries qualify for the global finals of the Zoohackathon.
Teams were aided by expert mentors from TU Wien Informatics, UNODC – United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and the Austrian Customs Authority. Coders were fuelled by food and beverage from Subway, Coca-Cola, Dunkin’ Donuts, and J. Hornig.