JEDDAH last weekend played host for the first time ever to the Saudi leg of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Space Apps Challenge, one of the world’s biggest event for the development of innovative and space oriented ideas.
The 48-hour space-themed hackathon hosted by Saudi-based Geeks Valley in cooperation with NASA.
The Space Apps Challenge takes place in cities across the world, and invites entrepreneurs to produce relevant solutions to address global needs, applicable to both life on Earth and life in space.
Participants were asked to develop mobile applications, software, hardware, data visualizations and platform solutions that could contribute to space exploration missions and help improve life on Earth, according to Eng. Taher Al Belawi, CEO and founder of Geeks Valley.
He announced that 15 teams from across the country have made it to the finals of NASA’s Space Challenge.
He said, “We are proud to have hosted our most successful event to date and glad to see Saudi Arabia to join other global countries for the first time in this very important international challenge.”
He added, “The two-day hackathon gathered a large number of our brightest young scientific talents to collaboratively develop solutions that will contribute to space exploration missions and help improve life on Earth. I believe we have here in Saudi Arabia young talents who could compete in the finals.”
On the sidelines of the challenge, Geeks Valley signed a memorandum of understanding with the Royal Commission of Jubail, King Abdullah for Science and Technology City, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Nama Al Minawara and Effat University.
This year’s winners at the Saudi challenge include: From Dhahran — Spacena, Earth Lovers, The Horizon. From Al Jubail — Aqua Guid, Sky eye and ELAN, from Riyadh — The perfect Team, Green Zone and Plant team, from Jeddah — Travelern, Fire Geeks and Water Mentores and from Madinah — Solar Geeks.