If the images on LinkedIn are anything to go by, IATA’s 7th ONE Record Hackathon was a success already before it began in the Lufthansa Group’s training center in Seeheim, Germany, last
weekend. The build-up, follow-through, and summary posts all speak one language: that of the motivation to digitally innovate within air cargo. CargoForwarder Global asked IATA for more details
on the event, its set-up and history.
In my view, the biggest success aside from all the realized ideas and winners, is the fact that companies which would normally be competitors, come together in the hallowed grounds of one of their peers to innovate for the greater good of the industry. Of course, it is a competition, but one that shares results and achievements, and is infectious in its enthusiasm.
So, what is the ONE Record Hackathon?
CargoForwarder Global (CFG) wanted to learn a little more about what led to all the Hackathon jubilation on LinkedIn recently and approached IATA for details. The first ever ONE Record Hackathon was held in Geneva (GVA) in 2018, the second in Madrid (MAD) the following year. The pandemic did nothing to quash the will to innovate; remote virtual hackathons were held in 2020 and 2021, and since last year and the return to onsite-events, the routine has shifted to twice per year – Spring and Fall. In 2022, Amsterdam (AMS) and Toronto (YYZ) were the host locations. Seeheim near Frankfurt (FRA), and Doha (DOH) are this year’s backdrop line-up. “Since the first hackathon in 2018, we have increased the availability of technology for participants to work with, introduced cash prices, increased involvement of sponsors, introduced hackathon hosting by airlines at their hub and introduced coaches in addition to judges,” IATA detailed. Hence, Lufthansa Cargo was the host this time around, and Qatar Airways Cargo is preparing the foundation for the next event on 24-26NOV23.
Give up your weekend and work through the night to win!
But what led to the birth of the Hackathon in the first place, CFG wanted to know? “We needed to create a grow a community of developers with expertise in the development and implementation of ONE Record. Hackathons tend to attract the very best, i.e.: people who are motivated enough to give up their weekend and work through the night to win,” IATA explained.
Is there a particular theme set for the Hackathon? “The theme of these hackathons is always the around the IATA ONE Record standard. With that topic, we set a few topical challenges like sustainability, supply chain quality, financial innovation. etc.”
How it all works, is that one week prior to the hackathon weekend, IATA publishes the challenges to be tackled. “By this time, teams have already been formed and registered, and they select which challenge they will address. They will plan their overall solution and approach and who does what.” The actual weekend reads like a digital iron man: The challenges are explained on the Friday evening, and each team has one minute to present its proposed project. Development begins on the Saturday morning. “Most of the time [they] will work late or through the night. Most teams will be ready with their development by Sunday morning and will then prepare a video with their presentation. At noon sharp on Sunday, all projects must be submitted. Judges review the submissions and select the winners for each of the 5 prizes. Then, there is an award ceremony, and the event is finished.” IATA assures us that: “in between, there is food and drink at all times, night and day. Friday and Saturday evening are often occasion for a nice meal, like a barbeque in Germany, tapas in Spain, etc.”
And how is the judging done? “We have a group of 8 judges from different sectors in the industry, this year 50/50 male/female. Each judge reviews each submission independently and after all the judging is done, the judging scores are added up. In case of same scoring (which often happens with the best submissions), the judges will debate and come to an agreement about who wins what.” Great to learn about the gender balance on the judging panel. Another very encouraging first for this year’s hackathon, is Lufthansa Industry Solutions’ all-female team with its ONE Record Crew project.
What are dos and don'ts in the Hackathon? “The biggest ‘do’ is sportsmanship. Although teams compete, they focus on being together and enjoying their industry friendships and play fair. As far as ‘don’ts’: it would be easy to cheat and re-use re-existing work or submit fake solutions that look good but don’t work. Teams are aware of this and keep each other in check. Judges and organizers will also watch out for this.”
… and Winners
Around 20 teams participated in the 7th Hackathon – some of them for the first time. Riege is one such example, which posted: “For the first time in #hackathon history, Riege Software brought a team and as it turns out also a winning solution,” on LinkedIn, just a day after Christian Riege’s very philosophical image of three green post-its bearing the German translation of ‘Why? How? What?’ and his own comment: “9 hours into the hackathon, team Riege Software has gotten down to the essence of the challenge. Onwards and upwards!” Attitude appears to be the main incentive to participate, and IATA confirms this in answer to CFG’s incentive question: “The majority of participants are motivated to meet and compete with their peers on a topic that they are professionally involved in. When a team wins, the participants receive recognition from their employers and colleagues and, if the project is pursued, they get to participate in these developments.”
The winner takes it all
“Winning is also a strong motivator” IATA continues. “Winners will put this on their resume and receive respect from their peers. Although there are cash prices of 3,000USD each, and this is seen as a nice and worthwhile reward, it is not the motivation.”
And what happens to the winning projects? “The winning projects are often prototypes for further development by the teams, in their usual corporate environment. They test the ideas at the hackathon and use the feedback to start formal developments with corporate funding. Occasionally a project may lead to a new startup or team members get hired to lead similar projects.” As to any of the projects having been adopted industry-wide, IATA answers: “The best of these projects end up being part a wider offering by an airline, forwarder, or solution provider. This is the most likely future of each of this year’s winning project.”
CargoForwarder Global congratulates all the participants and winners.
And the winners are…
Here is a full outline of the winning projects as written and published by IATA, along with links to more information on them:
- The Carbulator by Riege Software
Their solution addresses the challenge of invisible CO₂ emissions in air cargo planning. By enriching flight options with CO₂ emissions data using the ONE Record data model, decision makers can make more sustainable choices. Details: https://lnkd.in/diGqxRgA
- NE:ONE Play by Digitales Testfeld Air Cargo - DTAC
NE:ONE Play is a user-friendly whiteboard app that simplifies ONE Record data. It allows viewing, editing, and troubleshooting of data, making it accessible and easy to reach. It features an infinite canvas, connection to any ONE Record server, live editing, error detection, tooltips, and dark mode. Details: https://lnkd.in/ddbz9brS
- ONE Record Crew by Lufthansa Industry Solutions
(the first all-female hackathon team)
ONE Record Crew is a solution developed to solve cargo irregularities that disrupt transportation. The solution combines machine learning and ONE Record to predict and address issues, bringing transparency, customer satisfaction, and sustainability to the cargo industry. Details: https://lnkd.in/dUGX6fDG
- Switcargo by Air France KLM
Martinair Cargo Team
SWITCARGO was developed as a solution to facilitate the transition to ONE Record. It enables airlines to execute shipments with partners using both ONE Record and other types of messaging. Details: https://lnkd.in/dbkWaDTq
- CargoTracking by Awery Aviation Software Team
CargoTracking.aero was developed to bridge the gap between Cargo iQ members and non-members, improving information sharing and real-time updates for enhanced planning and control. Details: https://lnkd.in/d7MrYgjB
- Borderless Digital Salmon Movement by Vediafi Oy
Borderless Digital Salmon Movement was developed to simplify cross-border transportation of time-sensitive goods. BDI nodes facilitate information exchange between transportation companies and border crossings, ensuring freshness and efficient passage. Details: https://lnkd.in/dAxFejw3
As IATA underlines in the final words of its original press release: “The vision for ONE Record is an end-to-end digital logistics and transport supply chain where data is easily and
transparently exchanged in a digital ecosystem of air cargo stakeholders, communities, and data platforms. The goal of ONE Record is to replace the many data standards.”
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