The French edition of the European Cassini hackathon took place from May 12 to 14, organized by the Open Tourisme Lab and Murmuration. For two days, four teams developed responsible solutions for traveling in Europe using space data. What were the projects presented? Who won the hackathon? Back to the event that took place in Nîmes.
Organized simultaneously in 10 European countries, the 3and edition of the Cassini hackathon challenged startups and entrepreneurs around the theme “Sustainable Tourism & Satellite Data” for 2 days. This year, the French edition was organized by the Open Tourisme Lab and Murmuration in partnership with CNES, Airbus, Aerospace Valley, Nîmes Métropole, the Department of Gard, Gard Tourisme and IEFT.
Participants had 3 challenges to choose from: reduce the carbon footprint of tourist travel, reduce the impact of overtourism on famous sites or reduce the impact of tourism on natural areas. They had only one constraint: to use space data from Galileo, Egnos and Copernicus as well as other technologies to imagine more responsible solutions for traveling in Europe.
Four solutions to help tourists make the right choice
Four teams competed for this French edition:
- Caravel has developed a solution that wants to highlight the most sustainable sites and recommend them to tourists wishing to live eco-responsible tourist experiences, thanks to environmental indicators such as air quality, protected areas, flows of people and traffic and terrain.
- go4zem has designed an application that wants to democratize the use of carbon-free mobility solutions and promote more livable cities, as well as more responsible transport. It connects all owners – professionals and individuals – of clean vehicles (electric bicycles, scooters, electric scooters, e-skates, etc.) with users who can rent them anywhere, at any time and for any duration. .
- GUS wants to allow users to find an ideal destination depending on the time of year. To do this, the solution measures the quality of air and water, calculates the carbon footprint and takes into account flows at tourist sites.
- Skydor has developed a phygital device installed in several areas of the city. It is an augmented reality portal through which travelers can discover personalized tourist offers. In the app, users can also get information about air quality in destinations.
They competed to try to win €3,000 in cash to be shared between the winning teams, 1 month of coworking per winning team offered by OTL, 5 days of business and professional coaching offered by OTL and Murmuration for the winning team.
Satellite data at the service of innovative solutions
To participate in the hackathon, no knowledge of spatial data was required. Several experts, such as Martin Rusnak, consultant in entrepreneurship and space management at EUSPA (European Union Space Program Agency), Emilie Serveno, Languedoc-Roussillon territory project manager for Aeropsace Valley and Rémy Azevedo, Business Innovation Manager at Airbus and mentor of the hackathon, were present to explain the challenges of this data and its use.
“We leave them alone for the moment”, joked Emilie Séveno-Carpentier. during an interview with TOM.travel on the first day of the hackathon, “But we challenge them regularly, asking them not to focus on the technical aspects. As I speak to you, the teams are making good progress, they are even ahead.. “Personally, I always ask them, ‘Who’s going to pay for this?’ »added Martin Rusnak, “It is important to explain to them what the different satellite data are available to them”. Satellites now provide access to images that provide information on vegetation, the flow of people or air quality. “The challenge is to redirect tourists based on this information,” explains Emilie Serveno.
Best known for its planes, Airbus has 16 optical and radar satellites that provide access to this kind of images. “There are many applications for startups. They are becoming more and more aware of the existence of satellite data and this opens up the field of possibilities”, enthuses Rémy Azevedo. An idea shared by Martin Rusnak: “These data have been around for a while, but new issues are constantly emerging in tourism. This is particularly the case of slow travel and we must respond to it”.
And the big winner of the French edition is…
At the end of the two days, the go4zem team won the hackathon. Skydor won the jury’s favorite award. The latter was composed of Emmanuel Bobin, Director of the Open Tourisme Lab, Olivier Fabregoul, elected official for the economic development of Nîmes Métropole, Isabelle Bost, responsible for the Tourism and Attractiveness of the territory project in the Department of Gard, Sandrine Rieutor, general manager of Gard Tourism and Cathy Sahuc, COO of Murmuration.
Go4zem arrived at the hackathon with roles and an idea already well established. “Only a developer profile was missing from our project, but we were able to be supported by the Murmuration team”, tells us Karl Rapson, co-founder of the startup. Other teams were made up of people who didn’t know each other.
Go4zem wants to become the Airbnb of mobility by offering users zero-carbon means of transport. To do this, it wants to list the clean vehicles of individuals and professionals and rent them out. “Our particularity is our tourist filter. We highlight nearby charging stations, events and tourist infrastructure,” explains Karl Rapson. Even if there are already car rental companies between individuals, scooter rental applications, etc., the co-founder assures that there was no solution that brings together all these offers in the same place.
Go4zem wants to launch its web application this summer in Ile-de-France, initially with the rental of electric bicycles and scooters. Eventually, all the other means of transport mentioned above will be offered, as well as public transport. A carbon emission calculator will be added, as well as a weather-based recommendation algorithm.
As with other rental services, insurance will be offered to both renters and customers as well as a user rating system. It will even be possible to opt for the delivery of certain modes of transport. The startup plans to launch a crowdfunding campaign soon. This will allow him to transform the web application into a mobile application in particular.
But before that, go4zem will have to pitch at the European hackathon final on May 19. 3 European winners will benefit from 100 hours of mentoring by European experts as well as visibility on a European scale. Opposite the French team, there are solutions that help find the best spots for traveling by van or bike while respecting the environment, a solution for booking sustainable activities or a service that measures pollution of a bathing area.