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VETATHON – creative solutions in the idea marathon

Excellent ideas were presented in the fantastically well-received VETATHON idea contest jointly organized by the University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest and Óbuda University with the theme “Animals and the pandemic”. In this 24-hour competition, the teams proposed solutions to the problems they identified, and demonstrated their innovative ideas, too.

The VETATHON aimed to connect the two areas of science (veterinary and engineering) and address real problems by providing innovative solutions that can be practically applied even after the pandemic.

Each team submitted an English language presentation and answered the jury’s questions. This part of the competition was open for the public, so the online event was attended by family members, supporters as well as the representatives of the media. The hackathon’s final result was determined by a jury of experienced professionals, based on a transparent evaluation system that considered the votes of the mentors as well.

Altogether 41 students entered the competition from 6 countries and 4 universities (University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest, Óbuda University, Corvinus University of Budapest and University of Szeged), so the jury eventually reviewed the creative solutions of 7 mixed teams. The teams were supported by nearly 20 mentors during their 24-hour preparation. Each team came up with ideas highly appreciated by the jury, so the decision was really difficult. The first place was taken by Team Pawsome (members: Ariella Horváth, Marina Tokareva, Fanni Mónus, Vivien Zabó, Dominik Zabó and Richárd Mrena). Their idea was to create a microchip-based cattle monitoring system. The second place went to Team Veta-Tech (members: Lilla Szécsi, Péter Csanády, Ramiro Vargas, Petra Laurinyecz, Attila Yurt and Qadir Awais), thanks to their idea of an innovative food supplement producing system with herbal active ingredients. The third place was achieved by Team Vengineers (members: Albert Molnár, Patrik Viktor, Evelin Kovács, Dániel Simon, Beatrix Törőcsik and Kata Kurucz), who developed a solution for a pet collar and the related application to prevent various infectious diseases.

The hackathon was sponsored by Elanco, Zoetis and Boehringer Ingelheim, offering valuable conference participation and training opportunities as well as gift coupons for the winning students.

In addition to the prizes, the participants also benefited from testing their creativity, developing their cooperation skills during the teamwork and broadening their vision, which may help them launch their own start-up business based on their results here. We hope that we will be able to announce a similar competition next year, and we trust that the event will be held with personal participation instead of just online.

The VETATHON student innovation competition was realized within the framework of the National Research, Development and Innovation (NRDI) Office’s University Innovation Ecosystem tender, through Project No. 2019-1.2.1-EGYETEMI-ÖKO-2019-00010 won by the University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest and Project No. 2019-1.2.1-EGYETEMI-ÖKO-2019-00017 won by Óbuda University.