An AI sensor for cleaning Prague streets, a website with a database of meals for Prague school canteens and an app that makes it easier for people with various disabilities to get around the city. These three projects have won the fourth edition of the public competition for innovators – Nakopni Prahu 2023. They were selected from ten finalists by an expert jury, which believes that these projects bring the greatest benefit for the residents of the metropolis. The overall winner was the Occo project by the Waste Digital team, which is designed to help with the difficult cleaning of city streets thanks to artificial intelligence.
The awarded teams also received a financial reward of 100,000 CZK and the opportunity to receive further support to finance the prototype. The finals of the Nakopni Prahu competition took place on Friday, May 26 at the Radlická Cultural Sports Hall in Smíchov.
Ten teams presented their solutions in front of an expert jury and advanced to the finals. The jury judged both the solution to a specific challenge, its innovation and ability to be applied in practice and on the market, as well as its overall contribution to the city and its future.
1st place - Occo by start-up Waste Digital - Created a project to help with the difficult task of cleaning the streets of the metropolis thanks to artificial intelligence.
2nd place - Food Database - a young team of students developed a website where cooks upload photos of their meals and students can rate them and make better lunch choices, which will help reduce food waste.
3rd place - The muuv team is trying to help people with various mobility limitations and is developing a mapping app to help navigate the metropolis.
A special award from the Prague Water Supply and Sewerage Company (PVK) went to the Čistá voda (Clean Water) project. A board game illustrating the production, distribution and treatment of drinking water in Prague, including the subsequent treatment of wastewater.
"It is great that we won. The biggest benefit we see in our participation is that we started cooperation with Prague. We believe that our AIOT sensor will help make our capital city cleaner, greener and more economical. At the moment we have advanced technologies that we will develop further," said the overall winners Kryštof Novák and Jan Grossmann, founders of Waste Digital, after the announcement.
"Prague supports innovation and wants to introduce it into its operations. Innovations that save time and resources, involve new technologies... and sometimes help solve problems that have not been solved before. Nakopni Prahu 2023 is the 4th year of the Prague Innovation Marathon and the quality of the ideas entered into the competition gets better every year. I believe that even this year’s apps and inventions will proceed to full implementation, no matter who ends up being the winner. They can all improve our life in Prague - judge for yourself at https://www.nakopniprahu.cz/," said Daniel Mazur, Prague City Councillor responsible for ICT, innovation, science and research.
"The announcement of the winners of the Prague Innovation Marathon is only the beginning. The three most successful teams will continue to work on their ideas, and we will provide them with six months of project support from our experts, plus 200,000 CZK each to further develop their prototype. We will definitely want to continue the Nakopni Prahu competition, which brings a large number of innovative and creative ideas, in the years to come. The topic of innovations that improve the lives of residents and visitors to the metropolis through technology is very close to our hearts. It is the common denominator of all our Smart Prague projects," commented Petr Suška, Director of Smart City, Innovation and Project Management at Operátor ICT.
In addition to participation in the competition, the top three finalists received a financial reward of 100,000 CZK, half of which (50,000 CZK) goes to the overall winner. The second-place team received 30,000 CZK and the third place was rewarded with 20,000 CZK. All three winning teams also have the opportunity to receive up to 600,000 CZK, i.e. 200,000 CZK per team, for further support related to the actual implementation of their ideas into working prototypes. They can also benefit from six months of project support from the ICT Operátor.
Special prizes for the winners, inspired by the map of Prague, were created by PrusaLab. The 3D model was created using a real map with a distinctive cut out of the Vltava River in the middle, which was then stylized into a more abstract form. This design represents the uniqueness and originality that are so important to the Innovation Marathon winners. The prizes are created through a combination of 3D printing and laser cutting into aluminium, achieving precision and detail.
The finals culminated a nearly four-month innovation marathon, during which the teams were able to benefit from expert workshops, training and mentoring with experts from municipal and private companies and the Capital City of Prague. This year 47 teams entered the competition, 26 of them made it to the shortlist and ten were selected for the final round.