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February 3, 2020 10:24 am

Tel Aviv Hackathon Seeks Solutions to Ramifications of Australia’s Bushfires

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Firefighters move into Braddocks Road at Werombi to protect properties from the raging Green Wattle Creek brush fire in South West Sydney on Dec. 6, 2019. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. – Israeli professionals and programmers were invited to participate in a special hackathon—events where participants work together to create solutions to problems in a limited amount of time—in Tel Aviv with the goal of brainstorming ways to help Australia tackle the deadly bushfires that have destroyed wildlife, homes and land.

The all-night hackathon, called #StandWithAUS, started at 6 pm on Jan. 30 and ended at 9 am the next day, according to The Times of Israel.

The initiative was led by the non-profit Appleseeds Academy, the Kinneret Innovation Center and the tech-consultancy firm Impact Innovation Israel.

Prior to the event, at least 150 participants had signed up, including those who specialize in water treatment, emergency infrastructures, telecom, energy, tourism, air pollution, and wildlife and animal rescue. Also in attendance were members of the Israeli army’s search and rescue brigade, as well as representatives from the tech and water industries, according to the organizers.

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Participants were asked to devise plans for multiple challenges, including the best way to treat water polluted with flame retardants and ash; how to prevent online-fundraising fraud; ways to encourage tourism to the devastated country; monitoring and handling air quality in infected areas; detecting and caring for animals, and their habitats; and finding fireproof and emergency solutions for communications and electricity infrastructure.

The bushfires, which started in September, have killed at least 25 people, destroyed 2,000 homes and killed an estimated 500 million animals.

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