Big Data Solutions for the Social Good in Taiwan

Published Sep-10-19

Using big data to identify at-risk senior citizens and an AI solution for sentencing dangerous drivers are among the winners of Taiwan’s Presidential Hackathon.

The Government of Taiwan, Taiwan

The Story:

Big Data Solutions for the Social Good in Taiwan To uncover new ways to tackle social challenges and advance sustainable development in Taiwan, the Taiwanese government hosts the Presidential Hackathon. During this open innovation initiative, participants are provided with published, open-source information or protected information that can be accessed upon official requests to help them develop or improve services that will benefit all.

The Power of Big Data Solutions

Data is one of the world's most lucrative and influential commodities that can also be harnessed for the social good. It can be so much more than just counting and measuring things and behaviors because it can be mined for fresh insights and innovative ways to tackle challenges.

Big data solutions are a key vehicle for delivering innovations that can make a positive impact on society and create a sustainable future.

“Through promoting cutting-edge solutions and strengthening collaboration among the academic, public and private sectors, their projects can enhance the efficiency and quality of government services,” said President Tsai Ing-wen.

The second iteration of the open innovation contest took place in 2019 and saw more than 100 local teams take part. They were whittled down to a shortlist of ten finalists and eventually five winners were chosen.

They included:

The Rounding Team - a group of palliative care professionals who designed a smart platform for the Ministry of Health and Welfare. It will offer medical and other resources, such as a secure knowledge sharing to terminally ill people who want to remain in their homes.

Angels of the Aged - this was a collaborative team from the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Health and Welfare who came up with a way of using big data from both agencies to identify at-risk seniors who live in isolated locations.

Judicial Yan - this team devised an artificial intelligence solution to help judges with the sentencing of dangerous drivers. They also created a real-time reference system to aid people's understanding of legal terms used in adjudications. The innovation instantly translates these terms into everyday language.

International Solutions

The Presidential Hackathon also featured an international category that saw 23 teams from 13 countries take part. There were two victors in this category:

CoST from Honduras for proposing an initiative to boost environmental evaluation transparency and optimize resource allocation for infrastructure projects.

Mentadak from Malaysia for an online procurement system to strengthen clean governance in the public sector.

Sustainable Future

At the time of writing this article, there was no word on when and how the winning innovations are going to be implemented. However, according to the country’s president, the Presidential Hackathon is demonstrating how Taiwan is helping to fast-track global endeavors to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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