Print Hackathon seeks future-proofing ideas

Hannah Jordan
Friday, October 22, 2021

The European Graphic Arts Hackathon, set for next week, is inviting teams to submit ideas that will help shape the future of the print and graphic arts sector.

Last year’s Hackathon was won by five students
Last year’s Hackathon was won by five students

The ‘Hackathon’ will take place over 25-26 October under the banner of 'The graphic communication enterprise of the future. How to future-proof our industry?'

The event is sponsored by Sappi for the second year in a row, in partnership with other European organisations including VIGC, Intergraf, EY, Grakom, KVGO and the Association of Estonian Print and Packaging Industry.

Entries were invited from teams of small start-ups, scale-ups, students or individual industry enthusiasts.

They have chosen challenges from six categories including commercial printing, packaging, labels, print in marketing, industrial printing and publishing.

Each category poses a main question to the entrants, followed by a subset of questions.

Respectively, the main questions in each category are: How to reinvent the commercial print segment? How to create new added value for brand owners? How to create new added value for brand owners? How could we use digital and/or measurable marketing to create value for the Industry? How can leaving the beaten track create added value for the graphic arts industry? How to create hybrid added value for publishing?

Over the Hackathon period, teams will brainstorm ideas for processes and business models, with guidance from industry experts, with the aim of producing a tangible and deliverable concept by the end.

This will then be presented to a jury of experts, which includes Printweek contributing editor Jo Francis, who will collectively identify the winning entries.

The first and second prizes will receive €2,000 and €1,000 respectively with first, second and third place also receiving tickets for the Benelux Online Print event in Belgium in February.

The overall winner will also receive mentorship from Sappi’s head of digital transformation, Kouris Kalligas, and Anna Onate, ‘intrapreneur’ at Sappi and co-founder of OctoBoost, who will help the team bring the idea towards fruition.

Sappi vice president, marketing and sales, Flavio Froehli, said: “We are passionate about the potential for innovative fibre-based solutions to help make the world a better place.

“That’s why creating an entrepreneurial, coaching-based culture is a priority for Sappi and why we encourage continuous learning and a capacity for change as vital routes to improvements in business performance for everyone in our industry.”

Last year’s Hackathon was won by five students at Belgium’s Luca School of Arts, whose project, ‘Smiles’ used hybrid iPhone face recognition and Shutterfly technologies to record when someone smiles while using their iPhone and then produce an annual printed record of those memories that made them smile.

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