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Winning GovHack apps help drivers, locals, visitors

10 Nov 2021

USC students who created concepts for apps to help visitors organise Brisbane holidays for the 2032 Olympics, improve learner driving, and encourage community and business networking in the Moreton Bay region have won four awards at the 2021 GovHack event.

Thirteen USC Engineering and Computer Science students across three teams came first in their categories after “hacking” open government data to develop potential solutions to real-world problems within 46 hours.

GovHack is an annual digital competition held across Australia and the Queensland event was recently hosted by USC Moreton Bay.

The winning USC projects in four categories were:

Preparing for the 2032 Games category: BrisLympics, a one-stop travel, accommodation and information app to help visitors plan their stay in 2032 to make the most of their time in Brisbane.

“It will include everything from traffic data to hotel choices, based around the sporting events the visitor wants to see, before they arrive in the state’s capital,” said team member Alexander Barnes of Little Mountain.

Road safety challenge category: DRIVE (Driving Reality with Innovative Virtual Experience), an app aiming to increase the meaningful experiences of learner drivers, not just help them log more driving hours.

“The website would have virtual experiences of real-life scenarios showing that the choices we make as drivers can have consequences,” said team member Jordyn Krogh of Caloundra.

Jobs and Growth for Moreton Bay category and ‘Deadly’ choices for Moreton Bay categories: Where2, an app that uses weather, business and activities data to encourage local residents to leave their homes and enjoy social, economic and cultural connections.

“With people stuck inside their homes, COVID has impacted businesses and social wellbeing. This platform aims to foster community engagement and grow the local economy,” said team members Joshua Thomas of Sunrise Beach and Oden Baker of Bli Bli.

USC academics Dr Helen Fairweather (Environmental Engineering) and Dr Erica Mealy (Computer Science) said the results for USC were outstanding and reflected the growing skills and knowledge of its students.

It is the first year the competition has been run from USC’s Moreton Bay campus and the first year it has been an embedded part of USC’s Computer Science degree.

Moreton Bay Region Mayor Peter Flannery said the initiative was about giving the region a competitive edge in the digital age.

“Open data is important to ensuring quality decision-making and collaboration across our communities,” he said.

“We were overwhelmed by the quality of the submissions from students and look forward to exploring their ideas further in partnership with USC.

“By sponsoring GovHack this year and working with USC to help provide multiple open data, we are laying the groundwork to position Moreton Bay as a top 10 regional innovation hub, with our USC campus at the heart of The Mill development area and innovation precinct.”

- Julie Schomberg

Engineering students Jordyn Krogh and Jackson Cameron

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