Blue-cloud Hackathon logo


February 7, 8 & 9th, 2022


LAST UPDATED ON 14 January 2022

Welcome to the Blue-Cloud Hackathon! 

The Blue-Cloud Hackathon is an open invitation to explore and test the innovative Open Science environment developed by the Blue-Cloud project, which is geared at facilitating collaborative, science-based solutions for a safe, healthy, productive, predictive and transparent Ocean. The hackathon is envisioned as an opportunity to:

  • Invite new users to explore Blue-Cloud’s services and Open Science tools.
  • Encourage the testing, uptake and further evolution of Blue Cloud’s services by those communities actively working in the marine domain.
  • Collect user feedback on Blue-Cloud’s services. 

The Blue-Cloud Hackathon will encompass a virtual ideation warm-up (17 January-4 February, 2022) and a virtual hackathon (7-9 February, 2022) and it will invite, challenge and guide participants to:

  • “Play” and experiment with marine data sets and analytical tools available in Blue-Cloud Virtual Research Environment (VRE), as well as with data products and services offered by different, domain-specific Blue-Cloud Virtual Laboratories.
  • Improve existing data products or develop new ones, innovating in the development of new applications of Blue-Cloud’s services.


The participation is completely free of charge and open to participants from all European Union (EU) Member States and EU associated countries. Participants from other countries can also join, but please note that limitations apply to the receipt of monetary Prizes, as indicated in these Terms & Conditions.

To participate in the hackathon, participants must be in Teams of minimum 2 and maximum 10 participants. Each team must nominate a Team Leader who will indicate the Legal Entity within the EU or associated country that will receive the monetary part of the Prize on behalf of the Team, should the Team be awarded a Prize. Please note that it will not be possible to pay the Prize directly to natural persons.


IMPORTANT: Please note that the Hackathon is intended for Teams in which at least one (or more) team members are familiar with coding and/or programming.


Please note that participation is not allowed to individuals resident or domiciled in any country where participation would be prohibited by applicable law or the laws of the European Union.

By participating in Blue-Cloud Hackathon, you agree to these Terms and Conditions, as we well as to the Terms of Use of Blue-Cloud Virtual Research Environment, accessible at, which jointly form the Blue-Cloud Hackathon’s Terms and Conditions.




Blue-Cloud Hackathon (“Hackathon“)



The Blue-Cloud Hackathon will invite participants to form Teams to address Ocean challenges by using Blue-Cloud’s services and catalogue of Open Science resources. Participants will be challenged to put forward ideas and/or develop applications that contribute to improve knowledge of marine ecosystems; support the transition to a greener, blue economy; advance ocean literacy; and/or enhance international collaboration towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations (UN) Agenda 2030, with special focus on (but not limited to) SDG2 (Zero Hunger), SDG13 (Climate Action) and SDG14 (Life Under Water).



The Hackathon is organised with funding from the European Union’s Horizon programme call BG-07-2019-2020, topic: [A] 2019 – Blue Cloud services, Grant Agreement No.862409.

The Organiser (“Organiser”) of the event is the “Blue-Cloud” project consortium (, represented by Seascape Belgium BVBA, with registered office at Kindermansstraat 14, box 19, 1000 Brussels, Belgium, Partner of the Blue-Could project responsible for the delivery of the Hackathon.

The Facilitator (the “Facilitator”) of the event is Kreativdistrikt S.r.l. ​(hereafter also “KDKT”), ​registered office via F. Petrarca 22, 20123 Milano, VAT code and Fiscal Code 09829520965. 

The Facilitator and the Organiser may be collectively referred to as “we”.



  • REGISTRATION PHASE: 24 November 2021 – 30 January 2022

Registration, matchmaking & team formation. The deadline for being in a team is 12:00 am CET on 30 January.

  • (OPTIONAL) IDEATION WARM-UP: 17 January – 4 February 2022

Online Ideation Warm Up (including matchmaking & team formation up until 12:00 am CET on 30 January)

  • 3-DAY VIRTUAL HACKATHON: 7 to 9 February 2022

Day 1 – 07/02/22: Hacking time and submission of deliverable 

Day 2 – 08/02/22: Hacking time and submission of deliverables 2, 3 & 4

Day 3 – 09/02/22: Pitching & Award (Virtual) Live Event

The above-mentioned deliverables are specified in the section “PROOF OF CONCEPT” of these Terms & Conditions. The Organiser will be the official timekeeper for this event.



By the 16 January, 2022 at 23:59 – CET, register and create your personal profile by clicking on the “Register” button you will find on the Hackathon landing page:

Upon registration, you will be asked to create your profile as a participant and to fill in the form with all the mandatory fields. Starting 14 January, 2022 onwards, you will be able to download the Blue-Cloud HackathonStarter Kit” from the dedicated hackathon platform tab named “Starter Kit & Resources” that is visible to registered participants. The Starter Kit contains useful information that we recommend that you read carefully, such as how to use the hackathon platform, how to create or join a team, how to access the resources, how and when to submit your work, the required content for each deliverable, etc. Once available, please read the document carefully to prepare for the hackathon.

From 17 January to 4 February, 2022, a virtual “Ideation Warm Up” will take place. During this period, you will be able to access relevant video-tutorials where a dedicated team of Blue-Cloud experts will guide you to acquire knowledge and practice on the use of the Blue-Cloud platform and its resources. Live interactive sessions with these experts will also be organized. During this period, you will be asked to create or join a Team to address a specific challenge. Each Team must have from 2 to 10 members, appoint a team leader and we strongly recommend that at least 1 member is familiar with coding and/or programming.

You can either create your team as a team leader and then add your team members; or join the team of your team leader; or specify if you’re applying individually and you’re looking for a team to join. When creating your team, you will be also asked to first select 1 of the 7 challenges contained in the 4 topics categories, which can be explored here:

Once your team is created, you and your team will be able to communicate in the Team’s private chat room, which is made accessible immediately after the team’s creation. If you don’t have a team, you will have the opportunity to apply to join another team directly on the platform or to chat with other participants through the #findyourteam channel, so that you can agree on setting up a team with others.

Once your team is correctly created, you will receive more information directly in your private team chat, such as hackathon deadlines and important announcements; how to contact the mentors; how to deliver the hackathon deliverables and final work; etc. In addition to content and instructions available on the Hackathon platform, tutorial videos, written guidelines and templates will be provided to the Teams.

During the 3-day Virtual Hackathon, from 7 to 9 February 2022, all Teams will be guided and supported by a group of mentors, who will guide you towards shaping and delivering your project. Mentors will be available to all Teams at specific times throughout the Hackathon. The jury deliberation & announcement of winners will take place on 9 February 2022.



The guidelines for the submission of deliverables can be found directly in the Starter Kit, as well as on the hackathon platform, at this link:



Frequently asked questions can be found here:

For any further questions please contact 


The following challenges are envisioned:

  • Understanding the Ocean 

How might we use collaborative science to advance knowledge of plankton and the key role it plays in supporting life in the Ocean? 

Plankton are the fabric of marine ecosystems. They support the Ocean food and our fisheries, and they produce an estimated 80% of the Planet’s oxygen. However, in spite of successful efforts to gather a wealth of data, our knowledge of plankton remains difficult to analyse with integrative approaches. With your help, we can hack available plankton Big Data to address important knowledge gaps. Teams participating in this challenge category can choose between the following, 2 specific challenges:

  • Challenge 1A 

How might we map hotspots of plankton diversity and identify geographic gaps in our knowledge using currently available plankton data sets?

This challenge aims to develop tools that either challenge or improve our current knowledge on the presence, distribution and/or diversity of zoo or phytoplankton around the World, complementing existing maps or comparing datasets and biogeographies to identify data gaps or hotspots.

  • Challenge 1B 

How might we tap on available environmental and molecular data to predict ecosystem services provided by the Atlantic Ocean Microbiome? 

The purpose of this challenge is to map metabolic pathways of the marine microbiome that are relevant for the prediction of ecosystem services in the Atlantic Ocean, e.g. carbon fixation or the biosynthesis of lipids and metabolites. 

Participants are expected to select a pathway from the KEGG pathway database, select gene clusters potentially contributing to that pathway, and model their distribution using present-day and/or modelled environmental data.

  • Feeding the World

How might we balance our need to source healthy food from the Ocean to feed the World today with the need to secure a healthy Ocean for future generations? 

Aquaculture has a crucial role in meeting the challenge of feeding a growing population while reducing the environmental impacts of food production. It has already overtaken fisheries as the main source of fish for human consumption. But aquaculture also poses risks to the marine environment. And it is affected by marine events that impact its productivity. With your help, we can make smarter aquaculture choices to feed the World without harming the Ocean. Teams participating in this challenge category can choose between the following, 2 specific challenges:

  • Challenge 2A 

How might we know if floating cages of aquaculture farms pose threats to the marine environment? 

The purpose of this challenge is to assess the potential impact that an event related to the presence of an aquaculture farm(s) could have on a marine protected area, and deliver potential environmental impact indicators in the short- (days), mid- (season) or long-term (multiple years).

  • Challenge 2B 

Where might we place floating aquaculture farms in open and wild seas to get maximum “food return” with minimum risks? 

The purpose of this challenge is to assess potential risks that marine events (such as big waves, strong currents or severe winds) could pose for food production from an area (several tens of square meters) of your choice, in the short- (days), mid- (season) or long-term (multiple years).


  • Predicting environmental risks.

How might we use environmental indicators to understand complex phenomena affecting marine ecosystems and detect changes in their status with sufficient time to respond? 

Climate change is causing severe impacts on marine ecosystems. However, these changes are often difficult to anticipate, leading to delays in the implementation of actions that could mitigate risks and help us adapt to new conditions. With your help, we can evolve early warning mechanisms to anticipate a more effective response. Teams participating in this challenge category can choose between the following, 2 specific challenges:

  • Challenge 3A 

How might we use historical data to assess the environmental conditions of a marine area? 

The purpose of this challenge is to develop a tool to analyze the ecosystem status of a marine area of interest to you, at a defined point in time.

  • Challenge 3B 

How might we tap on climate and environmental data to predict how climate change is going to affect marine ecosystems? 

Your challenge is to develop a tool that provides early warning of undesirable ecosystem changes with sufficient time to respond.


  • Wildcard: Hack the Blue-Cloud!

How would you use “Blue-Cloud” to develop solutions in support of a healthy, sustainable, productive or predictive Ocean? 

The purpose of this topic is to come forward with an innovative idea that showcases how combining different resources made available in Blue-Cloud Catalogue –from datasets, to algorithms, maps or analytical processes described in Jupyter notebooks- might lead to innovative applications that contribute to at least one of the following objectives:

  • Advance knowledge of the Ocean.
  • Support the transition to a more sustainable Blue Economy.
  • Promote Ocean literacy.
  • Advance international cooperation towards delivering the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Additional information about this Topic will be provided by 17 January 2022 directly on the hackathon platform.



By 8 February 2022, participants will be asked to deliver a “Proof of Concept (POC) for innovative solutions that could be developed by, indicatively:

  • Combining Open data and data products made available in Blue-Cloud with new data (discovered and accessed using Blue-Cloud’s Data Discovery & Access Service or by any other means).
  • Making use of existing resources (data products, algorithms, maps, etc.) available in Virtual Labs to evolve new applications, building on these (or other) resources.
  • Using visualization techniques to better convey and communicate the results of Open data exploitation and analysis in support of decision-making processes. 

The POC must contain the following deliverables:

  • DELIVERABLE 1: A 1-page summary description of the solution
  • DELIVERABLE 2: A slide presentation (max 7 slides excluding the cover)
  • DELIVERABLE 3: (OPTIONAL): Code, a notebook or an application
  • DELIVERABLE 4: A 1-minute video pitch describing the solution



On 9 February 2022, from 9 to 12 CET, the Jury will evaluate the teams’ POCs.

Points will be assigned to Teams based on attributes of their proposed solution:

    • Fitness-for-purpose: Relevance of the proposed solution to the challenges and objectives of the Blue-Cloud Hackathon – 10 points
    • Use of data: Extent to which solution supports (re)using and/or combining different types of marine data and/or products to deliver innovative results – 10 points
    • Visualization: Application of sound visualization techniques to deliver user-friendly analyses – 10 points
    • Maturity: Degree of evolution of the proposed solution (concept > code > well-working and functional application) – 5 points
    • Roadmap: Clear work plan laid out for further evolving the solution over the next 6 months – 5 points
  • Additional points: 
    • Quality of video pitch – 5 points
    • Clear feedback on Blue-Cloud services – 5 points
    • The Teams agree to make the Deliverable 3 (Code/Notebook) publicly available in Blue-Cloud Catalogue once the solution is ready for user uptake – 5 points

The full ideation warm-up agenda can be explored here:

The second evaluation round will follow these criteria:

On 9 February 2022 at 4 PM, the video pitches of the teams that scored higher after the first round of evaluation (up to 10 teams) will be played during a live event. The Teams must make themselves available during the live event to respond to questions from the Jury. After the questions’ session, the Jury will deliberate to assign UP TO AN ADDITIONAL 50 POINTS to each Team.

Once all the points are assigned, the Jury will appoint the rankings for the first 3 Teams that scored higher and that therefore will be eligible for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place Award, respectively. Awards are rewarded with a prize pool, as described below in the PRIZES section.



  • The First prize includes: 
  • €25,000 to be used towards further evolving the “proof of concept” and boosting outreach to the resulting solution towards team members and third-party potential users
  • 2 “innovation” coaching sessions – virtual or physical – to guide team in evolving the solution
  • Travel costs covered for up to 2 Team members to participate in Blue-Cloud Final Conference (location and date to be decided)
  • The Second prize includes: 
  • €20,000 to be used towards further evolving the “proof of concept” and boosting outreach to the resulting solution towards team members and third-party potential users 
      • 2 “innovation” coaching sessions to guide Team in evolving the solution
  • Travel costs covered for up to 2 Team members to participate in Blue-Cloud Final Conference (location and date to be decided)

  • The Third prize includes: 
  • €15,000 to be used towards further evolving the “proof of concept” and boosting outreach to the resulting solution towards team members and third-party potential users 
      • 2 “innovation” coaching sessions to guide Team in evolving the solution
  • Travel costs covered for up to 2 Team members to participate in Blue-Cloud Final Conference (location and date to be decided)

  • Blue-Cloud “Blue Skies” Award (granted by “popular vote” of participants that join the “Pitch & Award Event”):
    • Travel costs covered for up to 2 Team member to participate in Blue-Cloud Final Conference (location and date to be decided)


The Winners commit to investing the awarded prize to further develop the solutions presented. They also commit to, after a period of 3-6 months, organizing a (virtual or physical) event to present the evolved solution to its communities and to broader audiences, as well as using this event as an opportunity to provide useful tips that user communities can use to make a productive use of Blue-Cloud. The Blue-Cloud project will provide support towards the organization of this event, while the Winners should provide inputs on the set up, content and engagement of their communities.

The monetary component of the Prizes can be delivered only to legal entities registered in an EU Member State or in EU associated countries, and not to natural persons. Employees of organisations that are Partners in the Blue-Cloud project can join a Team participating in the hackathon, but neither an organisation nor an employee from a Partner directly involved in the Blue-Cloud project activities can be eligible for a monetary Award.

The monetary component of the Prizes will be awarded by the legal entity that coordinates the Blue-Cloud Project, Trust-IT, which will also be responsible for covering the travel costs associated with the participation of Winners in Blue-Cloud Final Conference. 


A Jury representative will announce the Winners during the live event. 



Submissions must be provided in English. Submissions in other languages will not be accepted.



Participants own their background knowledge which will be used during the hackathon.

The Blue-Cloud project partners have the right to use the foreground knowledge generated during the hackathon, with a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.


The Organiser is fully entitled to shorten, extend, modify or cancel the hackathon in any manner it deems fit without incurring any liability to the Participants. The Organiser is fully entitled to disqualify a Participant or a team that does not abide by these Terms and Conditions or acts in any way deemed inappropriate by the Organiser.

The Organiser shall not be responsible, and assume no liability, for (i) lost, misdirected, or late submissions; (ii) electronic transmission errors; (iii) theft, destruction, change of, or unauthorized, access to submissions; (iv) technical problems, malfunctions or errors in the operation of any hardware or software which is necessary for the transmission of submissions or for the procedure of the hackathon, including computer viruses and bugs, or for manipulations, unauthorized access, scams, overload of the Internet or a website or any combinations of these, nor for other causes not subject to the inspection by the Organiser and the respective subsidiaries and branches of the Organiser. In case any of the above should occur, the Organiser retains the right, in its sole discretion, to adjust, change, postpone or cancel the hackathon in any manner it deems fit, or to take any other action it deems appropriate, including, without limitation, disqualifying any Participant who wrongfully causes any of the above to occur. The Organiser reserves all rights to recover damages and to take any resources that may be available to it against any such Participant.

Participants who are employees of a corporation, government agency, or academic institution are responsible for ensuring that their participation complies with any policies their respective corporation, agency or institution may have regarding participation in events such as the hackathon. If the Organiser has reason to believe that a Participant violated any such internal policies, the Organiser reserves the right to prohibit the Participant from participating in the hackathon. The Organiser assumes no liability and is not responsible for any disputes arising between a Participant and his/her employer with respect to participation in the hackathon.

These Terms and Conditions shall be governed by, performed, and interpreted according to the law of Belgium, without regard to choice of law or conflict of law rules. The parties establish that for any future disputes relating to the interpretation, execution, or resolution of the agreements related to the Hackathon, the Court of Brussels will have exclusive jurisdiction.

All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation, and enforceability of these Terms and Conditions, or the rights and obligations of the Participants and the Organiser in connection with the hackathon, shall be governed by and construed in accordance with, the laws of the Court of Brussels – Belgium.


When participating in this hackathon you accept and agree to Kreativdistrikt’s Privacy Policy located here, to the Blue-Cloud project privacy policy located here: and to the privacy policy of Blue-Cloud Virtual Research Environment located here:  

The personal data collected and processed during the conduction of the hackathon will not be shared outside the European Union. In the unlikely event that a data transfer to third parties’ servers will be necessary, standard data protection clauses issued by the European Commission are applied for the transfer of personal data to processors established in third countries.



The Organiser reserves the right to verify the validity of submissions, as well as their compliance with these Terms and Conditions, and to disqualify any Participant who interferes in any way with the entry process or who submits an entry that is not in accordance with these Terms and Conditions. The Organiser will not accept any late or misdirected submission. The Organiser reserves the right to cancel the hackathon and/or cancel or amend the awards if it deems in its sole discretion that there is an insufficient number of participants.

Disqualification of any participant who the Organiser has reason to believe has breached any of these Terms and Conditions or has engaged in any unlawful or other improper conduct shall be at the Organiser’s sole discretion. The Organiser’s decision in relation to any and all aspects of the hackathon is final and binding on every Participant and there shall be no appeal or review process for any such decision.

The Organiser is not responsible for (i) any problems or technical malfunctions of any telephone network or lines, computer or online systems, servers, providers, computer equipment, software or any technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or any website, delay or error in postal service, or any combination thereof; (ii) any incorrect or inaccurate information caused by any equipment or programming associated with, or used in, this hackathon, or any technical error, including any omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, mobile or satellite network failure, theft, destruction, unauthorized access or alteration of entries, or any combination thereof. The Organiser assumes no liability and is not responsible for any injury or damage to a participant’s or any other person’s electronic device resulting from participation in this hackathon or downloading any data as part thereof. In the event of war, terrorism, economic sanctions, riots, fires, natural disaster, or any other state of emergency or act of God, the Organiser reserves the right to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the hackathon or take any other action it deems fit with respect to the hackathon without any liability.





The winners of the hackathon will be announced at the end of the live event on 9 of February 2022



The Organiser reserves the right to change these Terms and Conditions and to add and/or remove any provisions from these Terms and Conditions at any time (including before and during the hackathon), for any reason and in any manner it deems fit.

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