The government of Ireland is hosting a blockchain hackathon this week to identify and analyze potential real-life use cases of blockchain in public services.
BlockAthon Ireland, taking place between January 25 and 27, 2019, aims to explore how blockchain can be utilized in public services to improve current processes, development, citizen user experience, efficiency and more. It is being hosted by the department of public expenditure and reform in association with the department of finance at the Innovation Academy in Dublin.
“Blockchain technologies have proposed new economic, business, social and technological models that have the potential to significantly impact business and society,” said Paschal Donohoe TD, minister for finance and public expenditure and reform.
“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. We believe this can partially be achieved through the use of novel and alternative mechanisms, new platforms and unusual channels.
“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.”
Ireland’s Our Public Service 2020 plan focuses on accelerating digital delivery of public services. The government has committed to driving innovation in policy design and service delivery, as well as promoting a culture of innovation across our public service.
Participants will be presented with potential public services business cases and problems to solve over the course of two days. These uses cases and business problems are:
- Medical device tracking in health, safety and environment (HSE);
- State aid tracking;
- A solution to verify central statistics office (CSO) data with appropriate security and privacy controls;
- A solution that provides transparency and traceability of the transactions for Ireland’s transport infrastructure;
- Improving quality and avoiding inefficiencies, work duplication and human error in the current processes used by the Programme for Government (PfG) office to gather information from all 17 government departments on their PfG commitments.
The teams will brainstorm potential blockchain-based solutions. At the end of the hackathon, a prize will be awarded for the best solution, which will then be submitted for evaluation for formal project development/implementation.
Expert stakeholders were sourced from the blockchain community in Ireland to judge and mentor the participating teams in order to promote cross-functional collaboration between government, academia, and the private sector. They include representatives of EY Ireland, Ambrosus and the University of Dublin.
The department of finance of Ireland has been actively involved in exploring blockchain since the launch of the intra-departmental working group on blockchain and digital currencies in March 2018. The purpose of this working group is to provide clarity to businesses, consumers and investors on matters relating to the technology, and to promote Ireland as innovative destination for blockchain related projects.