Call out for Mining, Agritech and METS companies to join MackHack 2021 in Mackay

MackHack 2021 will help regional businesses integrate new technologies to solve global problems

Get ready for a weekend jam-packed full of innovation in the mining, agritech and METS sector as the region’s problem solvers and disruptors gear up for the third annual MackHack technology-focused hackathon.

Split Spaces manager Deb Allan said the three-day event from 23 to 25 July would this year focus on solving industry challenges through integrating technology to move to Industry 4.0, or the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“What we really want to encourage people to do – whether it’s big mining houses or the small-medium enterprises from Paget – is to send a couple of people along to MackHack to learn about integrating AI, XR and robotics into their businesses,” Ms Allan said.

She said the dynamic weekend features a guest speaker on the Friday night, ideation and validation workshops throughout the weekend and time for attendees to prototype their ideas before pitching on Sunday afternoon. Those with the winning pitch will take home the coveted first place prize of $2500 in stone cold cash with runners up taking home rewards equaling another $2500.

Ms Allan said she was excited to see the magic that unfolded when participants stepped outside their comfort zone. “The collaborative approach to problem solving that MackHack offers is challenging and rewarding for all involved,” she said. “It brings people together from all industries, all walks of life, regardless of gender, or qualifications. Every team benefits from diversity, and whether you’re a hacker, hipster or a hustler there’s a place for you.

“Attendees get a learning experience, but they also get to walk away with some great friends and industry connections they wouldn’t have otherwise.” METS Ignited CEO Adrian Beer says the Growth Centre is investing in MackHack due to the success of the program in bringing regional businesses together with industry mentors to respond to their technology needs.

“This year the hackathon is inviting regional companies big and small to form teams, identify local business problems, and understand how technologies such as AI, XR and robotics can help solve these. “For the past two years MackHack has attracted strong support from industry to help participants find solutions to some of industry’s biggest problems, this year we are excited to see how local industry is dealing with challenges using the latest technology,” said Adrian Beer.

Ms Allan said an intellectual property lawyer would be on hand as well as mentors from The QLD XR Hub, Queensland AI Hub, Queensland Robotics and CSIRO. The QLD XR Hub acting chief executive officer Karen Sanders said it was exciting to partner with regional delivery partners such as Split Spaces to support MackHack. “The mining and METS sector are being given a great opportunity to collaborate with the region’s innovators to provide transformation to their industries,” Ms Sanders said.

Queensland AI Hub CEO, Sue Keay said projects realised over the event could be eligible for new federal government funding aimed at developing artificial intelligence solutions at a regional level. “The Queensland AI Hub is committed to driving regional growth and ensuring organisations, big and small, have the right skills and support to implement AI at scale.”

Queensland Robotics Executive Chairman, Andrew Scott is committed to developing a sustainable robotics industry, taking advantage of the robotics boom and sees the talent in the regions playing a significant role to generate growth in jobs, exports, products and services for Queensland and Australia.

“Deep domain knowledge of multiple industries coupled with regional innovation and determination will drive this growth and it is events like MackHack, and environments like Split Spaces, Resource Centre of Excellence, Resource Industry Network that help realise this growth. Looking forward to a great event and seeing the innovations emerge.” said Andrew Scott.

Those wanting to get a head start on MackHack 2021 can head online to watch pre-recorded sessions, register for additional capability workshops and check out the exceptional industry mentors participating in the event.

METS Ignited, the Queensland Government, and the Mackay Regional Council are major sponsors of the event with a number of local businesses set to come on board as minor sponsors. Event sponsors receive one-on-one mentoring from their choice of industry expert to help define their internal business challenge that can be solved through Industry 4.0 technology.

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