26 May 2018

Game-on: 24-hour 'hackathon' begins in South Island

10:27 am on 26 May 2018

A 24-hour 'hackathon' is being held in Christchurch this weekend, the first event New Zealand has hosted on behalf of the French and European space agencies.

It's part of ActInSpace, which is an international space innovation contest involving 60 different countries from around the world.

Teams are being asked to reimagine existing space technologies and data into new applications and products, which will be pitched in front of a panel of judges.

Fifty participants are taking part, mostly made up of tertiary education students, but Dunstan High School is also putting some of its students into the competition.

The winning individual or team will be sent to Toulouse in France for a final against the winners from other countries on 27 June.

This is the first time New Zealand has been part of the competition and last year 18 start up companies emerged from the challenge.

BIE general manager science, innovation and international Peter Crabtree said there's a vibrant IT sector and there's plenty of opportunities in the space sector.

Mr Crabtree said the event is a good way to connect this community and they're keeping an open mind on what technologies will come out of the event.

"I think they [the participants] think that anything is possible, so they could take this in all sorts of direction," he said.