Join the Ocean of Data Challenge by The PIER, Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE) DeepSense, and ShiftKey Lab or some creative collaboration and idea generation! This free event will kick off on Wednesday, May 24th at 6pm ADT with an introduction to the Challenge, presentations from experts, and the chance to ask questions to help idea exploration. Participants submit their video presentation on Monday, June 5th and the winners are announced on Friday, June 9th.

We are already seeing how port cities are evolving from grey to green. Halifax is already transitioning to be greener and this is only the start. Some cities are shrinking their driving lanes to build pedestrian or bike-only lanes, and increasing EV charging stations for cars, electric scooters, and bikes. But port cities face unique challenges, they act as hubs that connect the sea to land by roads, rails and air, while supporting shipping, cruise, and naval routes and being part of an active, living city.

The Port of Halifax is distributed along the Halifax Harbour, with shipping terminals on either end of the urban city centre, as a result, trucks transport containers between these terminals each day, adding to the city traffic congestion and increasing carbon emissions. The Port also intermingles with local commercial and residential areas and along with natural land formations, have limited the capacity to use a single rail line to connect all container terminals. The Halifax Port Authority (HPA) is looking at creative ways to conduct business that has the least environmental impact, and that will help to meet their ambitious net zero goals. Digital technologies will play a key role in this.

This Data Challenge will invite participants to imagine new ways to bring together the City of Halifax and the Port of Halifax in a greener, more efficient and sustainable way. Answer the ultimate question: How can we create a greener port? We are inviting students at post-secondary institutions across Atlantic Canada to use ocean data to examine how we can drive urban port city sustainability through this Challenge.

The challenge is broken down into three Challenge Streams: On the Water, In the Port, and Around the Port. Individuals and teams will be asked to choose one stream and provide interdisciplinary ideas for exploring how Halifax can become a greener port. Each stream can be used to explore different types of data, for example: “On the Water” can explore how we can better understand vessel movement or optimization, “In the Port” can explore green options within port activities and “Around the Port” can include community and environmental impacts from Port activity.

Challenge Stream #1 Theme: On the Water

How do ships move to and from the port? What are ways to reduce the environmental impact of the shipping or cruise ship industry in Halifax? How do these industries move to net zero? What are the benefits to having green corridors?

Challenge Stream #2 Theme: In the Port

How can the movement of goods from ships to trucks, trains, and planes be done in a more green way? How feasible is it to switch to using electric vehicles? What efficiencies can be realized in the port? What new opportunities are created as Halifax becomes more green? How does a port move to net zero?

Challenge Stream #3 Theme: Around the Port

How can port efficiencies benefit the surrounding community? What are the environmental impacts of the port of Halifax? How do we optimize truck movements? With one rail, how can we optimize movement between two

This Challenge allows you to work at your own pace to explore ways to learn about ocean data, meet others with the same interests and bring together unique skills to create a team (or work solo). This is a fantastic way to show off your design, programming or other talents. Not to mention more than $2,000 in prizes!

Who should participate?

The best ideas come from interdisciplinary teams, so we invite those studying Computer Science, Engineering, Biology, Sustainability, Business, or any other programs! As long as participants are students who are registered full or part-time at an Atlantic Canada post-secondary educational institution or graduated from one of those institutions in the past 12-months. You can go solo, or work with a team of up to five people. The Challenge kick-off will take place on Wednesday, May 24th at 6 pm ADT and streamed online, with a recording uploaded the next day. Please ensure you read the Official Rules below.

The Rules

    • Competitors must own rights or have written permission from the owner for all software demonstrated in the competition.
    • Your submission could be as simple as just a single really insightful bar chart. Or maybe you will use machine learning to build a prediction. Surprise us! Judging will be based on the potential for impact, originality, and creativity.
    • Competitors can work solo or on teams of up to 5 members.
    • Competitors are not allowed to submit projects containing confidential information
    • Required to use one source of public data, noting the source of the data in the presentation or within infographic, visual or slides
    • Must currently be living in Canada with an active Canadian bank account
    • Must be a current part-time or full-time student of an academic institution in Atlantic Canada (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, or Newfoundland and Labrador) or have graduated from one of these institutions in the past 12 months.

Expected Outcome and Submissions

  • All teams will be required to submit their entry as a recording of up to a 3-minute presentation
  • The presentation can be of a diagram, a technology solution, an analysis of data, or something else, as long as it is a solution to one of the Challenge Stream questions outlined above.
  • Your tangible outcome or solution will vary based on your skill, background, area of expertise and team. It is expected you will have created a prototype of some kind that could range from a technology solution, a visualization, or an overall plan to address some of the questions outlined in the Challenge Streams.
  • All teams must provide a summary of their solution, link of recording and any associated materials by 11:59 pm ADT on June 5th, 2023 to [email protected] to be part of the judging.

Schedule (all times are in Atlantic Time)

Wednesday, May 24th at 6 – 8 pm: The challenge kicks off! Learn how being a One Port City makes Halifax a more efficient and sustainable port. The session will be a live virtual panel and also recorded and shared within 24 hours with all those who were not able to attend.

Monday, June 5th at 11:59pm: Team concept submissions must be emailed to [email protected] with “Challenge submission form *TEAM NAME*” in the subject line to be eligible for presentation. Judges will review all submissions over the following three business days.

Friday, June 9th by 4 pm: Participants will be contacted with the results!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER – We look forward to seeing you there!