International Space Apps Challenge 2016

   TwitCount

Background

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development’s (ICIMOD) Mountain Environment Regional Information System (MENRIS) Regional Programme supports integration and analysis of multidisciplinary data, disseminates specific relevant information through the use of innovative information system approach and effective use of information and knowledge products for developmental and environmental decision making. To that effect, the centre functions as the operational partner for USAID/NASA’s SERVIR hub catering to the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. The SERVIR Initiative supports activities in integrating earth observation information and geospatial technologies into development decision making. 

ICIMOD has participated in the organisation and co-hosting of the global NASA-led International Space Apps Challenge (ISAC) annual event in Kathmandu, Nepal since 2013. ISAC-2016 is scheduled to take place from 23-24 April 2016 at Trade Tower Nepal, Thapathali, Kathmandu. ICIMOD will be co-hosting the event with Young Innovations Pvt. Ltd. (YIPL), the key organising partner in Nepal. The event evaluate space/Earth issues, challenges faced and will embrace collaborative solutions through the relevant open-source applications.

Rationale, scope and objective

The International Space Apps Challenge is an international mass collaboration focusing on space exploration that takes place over a 48-hour period in cities around the world. The event embraces collaborative solutions to problems by producing relevant open-source applications to address global needs in the lives of both on Earth and space. It is a NASA-led world-wide collaborative annual event of about 200 local organising teams. 

The ISAC in Nepal was first organised in Kathmandu in 2013, and co-hosted by YIPL and ICIMOD under the framework of SERVIR Himalaya, and was replicated in the subsequent years. The forum brings together various international and local interest groups to showcase specific space/Earth challenges and innovative applications of solutions on various themes.  

Taking the initiative further and on a larger scale to inspire bigger crowds to bring in innovative insights and perspectives on the solutions of emerging challenges, ISAC 2016 is aimed at the following objectives:

  • Providing an international space, particularly to local space/Earth innovation interest groups, to work on issues that matter to people in eastern context
  • Inspiring the leveraging of participant innovative works on various local issues and open opportunities to create local apps beneficial to society 
  • Providing opportunities to link young students and professionals in different thematic areas international environmentalists, data systems, etc.

With the theme of Space Apps Challenge, the ISAC-2016 has more than 28 challenges in six thematic areas: technology, aeronautics, space station, solar system, Earth and journey to Mars. The challenges will be published right before the hackathon. In addition to these challenges, local challenges will be developed for the participants. Those challenges will be accompanied by necessary data and defined in collaboration with partner organisations and network. Participation in this event is open to anyone with a broad range of skills in the field of engineering, technologies, social science, designers, artists, educators, students, entrepreneurs and anyone who has a passion for changing the world and willing to contribute. 

Other organisations, namely, Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC)/ Renewable Energy for Rural Livelihood (RERL), Women Leaders in Technology (WLIT), Robotics Association of Nepal (RAN) and CSIT Association of Nepal will support the event with their expertise and networks.  

Duration and Timeframe of activities

The ISAC-2016 will be held over a two day period, 23-24 April 2016, at Trade Tower Nepal, Thapathali, Kathmandu. 

The orientation for competition participants will take place at 1 pm on 16 April 2016 at the same venue.


Photos from the event: