Sweden-India Mobility Hack – creating innovation solutions for the future

Innovation is at the heart of Sweden-India relations since the signing of the Joint Innovation partnership for a sustainable future in 2018. The aim of this co-operation is to drive prosperity in science and technology, address global challenges...

Innovation is at the heart of Sweden-India relations since the signing of the Joint Innovation partnership for a sustainable future in 2018. The aim of this co-operation is to drive prosperity in science and technology, address global challenges such as climate change and develop sustainable solutions for the future. Both countries are exploring ways to increase impact of this bilateral cooperation at multiple levels by engaging stakeholders from the government, agencies, industry, enterprises, and academia. In terms of innovation, some key areas of partnerships and investments for the Swedish government includes smart cities, transport, health and sustainability.

With the rising global concern of transport emissions and accidents, a new area of cooperation in the Sweden-India partnership is to build safe and sustainable transport innovations. This sector has grown quickly in the past year as a new area of co-operation with the launch of Sweden-India Transport Innovation and Safety Partnership (SITIS) in February 2020.

As a collaborative step towards expanding this partnership, a Sweden-India Mobility Hackathon was organized in February 2021 by the Swedish Institute in association with Team Sweden India comprising of the Swedish Consulate General in Mumbai, Embassy of Sweden in Delhi, Swedish Chamber of Commerce India and Business Sweden India. The mission of the Hackathon was to use Artificial Intelligence and other technologies to design, test and execute ideas that solve some global transport challenges and support the ongoing R&D efforts between Sweden and India.

This innovative, sprint-like event was organized with the support of 55+ Swedish and Indian partners including startups, research institutes, road safety organizations and companies in sectors of transport, automotive and sustainability. The platform provided a strong platform for about 500+ students, entrepreneurs, innovators, developers, designers and creative professionals to come together digitally from different geographies across Sweden and India and co-create game-changing mobility solutions.  The participants were divided into about 40 teams, each of which worked intensively to develop innovative solutions for 6 challenges each led by specific Swedish or Indian partner. The 6 predefined, real-world challenges were – lethal accidents in traffic, safe and sustainable transport, air pollution/ emissions from traffic sector, infrastructure for connected vehicle and sustainable logistics.

The teams received guidance from about 76 Mentors from both countries – professors, leaders, engineering, and creative experts – to further guide and support their assigned teams on developing mobility solutions. The participants were given the opportunity to experiment and ideate on innovative solutions, seek feedback and prototype into actual solutions. They had access to a network of major Swedish and Indian entities and worked to solve questions based on open data sources. All submitted solutions are available on the Eventornado site – https://eventornado.com/event/mobilityhack#ideas.

A 48-member jury, comprising of experts for specified challenge areas, selected winners with the most promising solutions for the future. At the digital awards ceremony Mr. Nitin Gadkari, Honorable Minister for Road Transport and Highways in India congratulated the winners and highlighting the essence of Sweden-India collaborations and how this initiative further reinforces this relation not just at the government level but at multiple stakeholder levels. As next steps, the 6 winning solutions selected by the jury got the opportunity to pitch ideas to and collaborate with major Swedish and Indian entities for further developing and implementing their ideas.

Here are the details of the six winning teams with their projects:

The Hackathon was an innovative collaboration bringing together leading Swedish and Indian entities in long-term, productive co-creation and fostering relations between the two countries. It proved to be a promising platform for participants, especially young students to develop their ideas into solutions and contribute to the well-being of the society. The seamless, collaborative efforts between the participants, partners, jury, mentors, Swedish Institute and Team Sweden finally led to the success of this Hackathon. The enthusiasm and commitment towards co-creating expert mobility solutions inspired further looking forward to sustained engagement and game-changing innovations.

Guest Author: Ms. Anna Lekvall, Consul General of Sweden in Mumbai