A hackathon event to explore data-driven solutions to real-life problems faced by manufacturing companies on the NextGen project.
Research engineers at the AMRC’s sites in both South Yorkshire and North Wales joined forces with the University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre to deliver NextGen, an £867,000 project funded through the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult, aimed at addressing the future of data science and current analytic skills shortages in the manufacturing sector.
The aim of the project was to support 14 selected businesses to adopt low-cost digital technology and train apprentices and other digital champions to install sensors and interpret the information being gathered to support informed business decision-making.
The client recruited us to design and deliver a full-day hackathon bringing together engineers, industry professionals and students to build solutions to problems posed by the businesses on the project.
The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC)
Event programme design and facilitation
Venue liaison and management
Supplier sourcing & management
Live event delivery
We initially held an exploratory problem-setting session with the businesses on the project. We asked each business to pose a problem that they had identified but did not have the technical skills or knowledge to implement a solution for. This provided us with some clear challenges for teams to tackle at the Hackathon and an understanding of the skill sets we needed in the room.
On the day of the hackathon, attendees had the chance to unpick these challenges alongside people from the NextGen companies and other experts from the AMRC, before getting into small teams to find ideas, create prototypes, and mock-up how things might work in practice.
Towards the end of the event, teams pitched back their ideas to a panel of experts. We awarded several prizes and one team was announced as the overall winner!
We hosted the hackathon in the AMRC’s Factory 2050, which provided a fitting backdrop for the event as the UK’s first state-of-the-art-factory, entirely dedicated to conducting collaborative research. We brought in everything delegates would need to work comfortably for the day, including a hot breakfast, working lunch and snacks, fast wifi, access to power and well-equipped break-out spaces.
Some innovative and exciting ideas came out of the event and we received great feedback from the NextGen project manager and participants on the day. Additionally, the businesses on the NextGen project found the solutions proposed extremely beneficial and we’re hoping some of the ideas will be taken forward.
Despite the pressure of having so little notice, You & Us absolutely knocked these events out of the park! The team were outstanding professionals, with the exact right levels of initiative, responsiveness and eye for detail, that you want from a event organiser. All the usual mental loads of guests lists, venue booking and catering etc, were lifted and carried the extra mile by You&Us with ease. I highly recommend their service and will certainly be looking to work with them again in the future.Matthew Moxon, Project Manager, AMRC
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