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Earth Day Hackathon Helps the Government Go Green

| David Shive, Chief Information Officer
Post filed in: Earth Day  |  Innovation  |  Sustainability  |  Technology

Since taking office, President Obama has made creating a more sustainable federal government one of his most important priorities. As the government’s leading supplier of utilities, buildings, vehicles and technology, GSA also has unique opportunities to protect our environment.

That is why, on Earth Day, GSA hosted a Government-wide Earth Day Hackathon. Taking place in GSA’s headquarters in Washington, DC, the event brought together 49 industry professionals, students, and government employees to find new, more efficient solutions to making a greener federal government. Participating agencies included the U.S. General Service Administration, White House Council on Environmental Quality, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service.

Four participating teams were awarded prizes. Teams CGI Digital and ICF won for building an automated software code generator and developing improved data visualizations associated with climate change indicator data for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Team CVP won for developing a new web application for the National Institute of Standards and Technology that allows for selection and comparison of building products’ economic and environmental performance based on the user’s needs and preferences.  And team Smokey and the Bandits, from ICF, won for developing methods to present and compare performance on energy and water use in U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service facilities. All within the six hour window of the hackathon.

The winning teams received $3,750 in cash prizes. The data sets and more information on each project can be found at website.

Hackathons support open government; encouraging innovation and collaboration between government agencies and the citizens we serve. This improves how government operates, injects innovation into government and facilitates transformation across agency boundaries. This is of great benefit to all.