On the afternoon of September 24, President Tsai Ing-wen attended the 2023 Presidential Hackathon awards ceremony, praising the award-winning teams for showing the problem-solving hackathon spirit and creating proposals for Taiwan that are both innovative and feasible. The aim of the Presidential Hackathon, she said, is to establish close cooperation between members from different government agencies with different areas of expertise and private sector experts from various fields, and to help these groups learn from one another. Efforts over the past few years have not only increased the share of public sector participation and proposals each year, she said, but have also led to the implementation of numerous award-winning projects in government agencies, increasing efficiency. She also expressed hope that proposals from outstanding teams can be promoted in all counties and cities in Taiwan so that the Presidential Hackathon's achievements can take root nationwide.
After arriving at the venue, the president and all the attendees first observed a moment of silence in honor of those who lost their lives in a fire at a Pingtung factory on September 23.
In remarks, President Tsai noted that at the beginning of the ceremony they had all observed a moment of silence for those who lost their lives in the Pingtung factory fire, and that over the past few days the central and local governments have dedicated their efforts to rescue, relief, and recovery work. She then noted that the Pingtung County Government Environmental Protection Bureau and the Kaohsiung City Government Fire Bureau were among the award-winning teams at the ceremony. The president also took the opportunity to offer a word of thanks to the Pingtung County Government team for their hard work and the Kaohsiung City Government team for their support. She then expressed gratitude to all of the relief workers and medical personnel for their efforts.
President Tsai congratulated the outstanding teams that won awards this year for showing the problem-solving hackathon spirit and bringing us innovative and feasible proposals. She pointed out that the Presidential Hackathon provides a platform where the public and private sectors can join forces to co-create, which allows data owners, data scientists, and experts in various fields to use the government's open data to propose innovative solutions to problems for society and individuals. Efforts over the past few years have not only increased the share of public sector participation and proposals each year, she said, but have also led to the implementation of numerous award-winning projects in government agencies, increasing efficiency.
Noting that the theme of this year's Presidential Hackathon is "zero-carbon transition, a happy future," the president stated that there is already a global consensus on achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, which is also an important goal for Taiwan. The president stated that the proposals from three of this year's outstanding teams – the Green Advocates League, Building Carbon Reduction Health Assessment Team, and the Beauty of 4 per 1000 – were related to the transition to net-zero emissions. She expressed her belief that after they are implemented, these proposals will help the government promote the net-zero emissions policy so that Taiwan can become a more sustainable and low-carbon country.
The president also stated that the Street Doctor and 8R+ teams propose using data integration to tabulate stretches of road with high accident rates to help local governments improve traffic safety. This is an issue of much concern in Taiwanese society this year, she said, with the government proposing policy solutions. The president expressed confidence that the proposals from these teams will help create a more optimal and safer traffic environment.
The president also congratulated the winning teams that participated in the Presidential Hackathon International Track. She added that the main themes of this year's competition were democracy, digitalization, and zero emissions and expressed hope that this will contribute to forging a consensus on global issues. She stated that this year there were a record high of over 60 proposals from international teams and that the two award-winning teams not only demonstrated a concern for society, but, impressively, also embody the spirit of digital democracy. She also thanked the members of the Presidential Hackathon committee, the judges, and the support team for providing competitors with expert suggestions while helping them find the technology they need, ensuring that winning projects can be incorporated into administrative agency operations more quickly and integrated into policy implementation.
The president stated that the original intent of the Presidential Hackathon was to establish close cooperation between members from different government agencies with different areas of expertise and private sector experts from various fields, and to help these groups learn from one another. Over the past few years, she noted, we have seen Taiwan's public sector adopt a more open attitude and incorporate innovative ideas to solve problems that the public encounters. She also directed the organizers to help implement the proposals from outstanding teams and promote them in all counties and cities so that the Presidential Hackathon's achievements can take root nationwide.
At the end of the ceremony, President Tsai presented trophies and certificates to the winning teams in both the domestic and international tracks.
Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Ambassador Andrea Clare Bowman and India-Taipei Association Director General Manharsinh Laxmanbhai Yadav also attended the event.