Water and sustainable cities: the solutions of the future emerge in Montpellier!

On the theme of "Water and the Sustainable City", more than 400 students, divided into 70 teams, set up innovative projects throughout the 48 hours of the Water4Future Hackathon Students 2023 organized on February 16 and 17, 2023 at the FDI Stadium in Montpellier by the Centre international Unesco Icireward. A unique competition, organized both face-to-face and remotely, punctuated by sharing and innovation.

Participants represented 42 universities and engineering schools from 17 countries in Europe (France, Spain, Hungary, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, Finland), Africa (Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Benin, Niger, Cameroon, South Africa) and North America (Canada). This represented 70 international teams divided into 10 pools. These teams were accompanied over the 2 days by more than 80 coaches, experts in various fields: hydrology, geology, entrepreneurship, marketing, finance, design, etc. The teams also received advice and encouragement from academician Erik Orsenna, Chairman of Initiative pour l'Avenir des Grands Fleuves.

During these 48 hours of brainstorming and intense work, in a particularly warm atmosphere, the various teams received support from Philippe Augé, President of the University of Montpellier, Isabelle Parrot, UM Vice-President responsible for Science-Society relations, François Pierrot, Deputy Director of the UM's Strategic and Structuring Investments Committee and former Vice-President of Innovation, Patrice Canayer, coach of Montpellier Handball and regional councillor for the Occitanie / Pyrénées-Méditerranée region, and Eric Servat, Director of the UNESCO Icireward International Center and organizer of the hackathon, now in its 5th year.

Student teams had 48 hours to develop an innovative project on the theme of "Water & Sustainable Cities". The 11 finalist teams had the opportunity to pitch their projects to an international panel of judges, who selected 4 winners:

  • 1st place - Les Vétérans (Polytech Montpellier)
  • 2nd place - H'INP'eaupotable (INP Toulouse)
  • 3rd place ex-aequo - AFRO-Innovators (Rhodes University, South Africa)
  • 3rd place ex-aequo - Aquatech (TSF Tanger, Morocco)

The winning projects will soon be summarized on the Water4Future Facebook and LinkedIn pages.