Athlone man’s innovation wins Ireland’s first-ever energy hackathon

An Athlone man has claimed the top spot at Ireland’s first-ever energy hackathon after his team won the best innovative solution.

Malcolm Phelan from Ballykeeran, Athlone was one of an eight-person team that created an innovative cloud-based platform that alerts and coordinates emergency response units to potential risks on the electricity network during storms.

Hosted by ESB, the winning team created the solution during an intensive 48-hour period at The Big Energy Hack which took place at the Dogpatch Labs, Dublin from October 21-23.

The real-time solution, created by Malcolm and his Cloud Command team, would allow emergency services such as the Gardaí, fire services, hospitals, and State agencies share information such as the precise location of the damaged network, leading to better co-ordination during times of crisis.

More than 150 hackers participated in The Big Energy Hack, organised in partnership with DCU Alpha and Dogpatch Labs. Each team formed had to build and pitch their idea to a panel of expert judges with the Cloud Command team scooping the top prize of €5,000 and the possibility of developing this idea further at ESB’s innovation hub, X_Site.

Presenting the winning prizes, Pat O’Doherty, chief executive of ESB, said: “I warmly congratulate the winning team members who won out in the face of stiff competition. Malcolm and the Cloud Command team devised an idea that is not only innovative, but also practical and implementable and ESB will be working with the winning team to investigate how to make this idea a reality in the coming months.

“Events like this allow us to collaborate with talent from a wide range of industries and backgrounds. I’ve been hugely encouraged by the enthusiasm demonstrated to create Ireland’s new energy future.”

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