Blockchain Hackathon For Public Services Announced By The Government Of Ireland

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform of Ireland and the Department of Finance will be hosting a hackathon this month to explore use-cases of blockchain technologies.

Dubbed Blockathon Ireland, the hackathon is targeted towards Irish public service bodies. The objective is to initially identify and thereafter, develop real-life use-cases for blockchain technology to gain a deeper understanding on how and why this technology could be used to improve processes and user experience, or generate more value for the public and public organizations.

Over the course of two days, the two departments will present potential public service business cases/problems to technical teams. These include medical device tracking for Ireland’s Health Service Executive, mechanisms to verify Central Statistics Office data, and tracking state aid for Enterprise Ireland.

Participating blockchain teams will be expected to brainstorm a potential technical solution. At the end of the Hackathon, a prize will be awarded for the best solution and will then be submitted for evaluation for formal project development/implementation. The hackathon will start on January 26 and will conclude on January 27.

Paschal Donohoe, minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, said that blockchain has proposed new economic, business, social and technological models that have the potential to significantly impact business and society.

“As part of Our Public Service 2020, our government has pledged to drive innovation in policy design and service delivery, as well as promote a culture of innovation across our public service,” he said. “Consulting and engaging experts on innovation from across the public sector, academia and the private sector to share ideas is a valuable action under the strategy, and this hackathon offers an opportunity to do so.”

“A joint effort by both departments and representative of the ambition of the government as a whole, Blockathon Ireland offers a unique opportunity to explore the potential for blockchain,” said Patrick O’Donovan, Minister of State with special responsibility for Public Procurement, Open Government and eGovernment. “Minister Donohoe and I welcome the opportunity to offer a platform for constructive collaboration with the aim of exploring the capabilities of disruptive technologies in public services.”

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