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SOLVE THE GAP - 48h EU Youth Digital Hackathon

“SOLVE THE GAP” between European Youth and participation in 48 hours. Win 10.000€.

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“SOLVE THE GAP” – 48-H EU Youth Digital Hackathon

Side Event to the EU Youth Conference in Portugal

Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union



1. Outline

Portugal is holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from January to June 2021, as part of the Trio Presidencies of Germany, Portugal and Slovenia. 


Within this framework, the Portuguese Ministry of Education and the Portuguese National Youth Council are engaged in the implementation of the EU Youth Dialogue and in organizing the EU Youth Conference in Portugal (12th to 15th March). The EU Youth Dialogue is a European process designed to consult young people on policy topics that affect their lives and put them in a direct dialogue with policy and decision-makers. The topic of the 8th Cycle, covering the Trio Presidencies, is Youth Goal #9 “Space and Participation for All” under the title “Europe for YOUth - YOUth for Europe: Space for Democracy and Participation”.


Taking stock of this topic, a 48-hour digital hackathon will be organized as a side event of the EU Youth Conference in Portugal, from 12th March, at 00:00, to 13th March, at 23:59 (WET). This activity seeks to foster and support the development of innovative digital solutions, led by young people living in Europe, to tackle the barriers they face daily to participating in democratic political decision-making processes.


The objectives are:

  • To boost young people’s engagement at the local, regional, national and European levels;
  • To find new suitable approaches and solutions to solve the problems young people face in democracy and participation;
  • To develop innovative digital tools;
  • To showcase potential use-cases for those tools in solving one of the identified problems;
  • To produce a prototype or simulate the use of the digital tool.


2. Definitions

When referring to any aspect related to the event, 


“Prizes”: refers to the prizes awarded to the Winners at the end of the Hackathon Challenge. 

“Overview”: refers to the specifications determined by the Organization, which may include deadlines, prizes, guidelines and themes to be complied with by all contributions by Innovators. 

“Challenge”: refers to the challenge that is the subject of the Rules, as organized by the Organizers. 

“Intellectual Property Rights” means all the following ownership legal rights, worldwide, whether registrable or unregistrable, and whether registered or unregistered, with respect to any designs, trade secrets, copyright, works of authorship, neighboring rights, mask works, know-how, software and all industrial rights, such as trademarks, industrial designs or patents; 

“Projects”: refers to the Team and to all submissions, original ideas, documents or other materials (such as presentations, videos, etc.) uploaded to the Website by Innovators in response and as a solution to this Challenge; 

“Backers”: refers to the jury responsible for selecting the winning Projects. 

“Innovator”: refers to any person registered in accordance with the Rules who takes part in the Challenge. 

“Registration”: refers to the registration of an Innovator in accordance with the Rules. 

“Rules”: refers to these terms, which apply to the Challenge. 

“Team”: refers to the team of innovators (3 to 6 per team), created on the platform in order to take part in the Challenge.

“Winner” or “Winners”: refers to the members of the Project that reach the final stage of the Challenge and are chosen by the Backers as the winning team. 

“Code of Conduct”: refers to the document published on the Hackathon page aiming at creating a safe, comfortable and harassment-free space for all the parties involved in the Hackathon, and with which all persons involved in the hackathon must abide.


3. Innovators (Who Can Participate?)

The Hackathon is open to young people (from 16 to 30 years of age) legally living in a EU Member State, who are interested in creating a digital tool, that can be used by EU Institutions and Member States and relevant stakeholders in the field of youth and that fosters youth participation and tackles the obstacles that prevent young people from fully engaging in participatory processes and democracy. Team members can be based in any EU Member State, or across several of them. A team can be composed of a minimum of 3 people and a maximum of 6. Individual registration is allowed, but participation is only possible if the participant is a member of a team. The Organizers will facilitate the composition of teams, should a participant register individually.


4. The Challenge

The Challenge consists of 5 categories under the core challenge of the Hackathon for fostering, boosting and improving youth participation in Europe through a digital tool. The 5 categories take their inspiration from the targets of the European Youth Goal #9 “Space and Participation for All” and in the motto of the 8th Cycle of EU Youth Dialogue “Europe for YOUth - YOUth for Europe: Space for Democracy and Participation”.


The 5 categories are:

  1. Fight Youth Vote Abstention in Elections
  2. Youth Outreach and Access to Youth-Friendly Information 
  3. Building Transparency and Trust in Government 
  4. Youth Engagement in Policy-Making
  5. Youth in Positions of Power 


Each Team must select just one category to compete in. 


5. Registrations 


All participants must create an account at taikai.network in order to register for the event, following the instructions available on the website. 

Registration is complete after submitting the registration form available on the event page at taikai.network. In this form it is mandatory to provide:

  • First and Last name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality
  • City of Residence
  • Occupation

The deadline for registration is 7th March, at 23:59 (WET).

Registrations that do not comply with the Rules will be disregarded. 


6. Deliverables - What should the final result be?

A proposal for a digital tool – in Minimum Viable Product (MVP) version – to be used by EU institutions, Member States and other relevant stakeholders in the field of youth. The result should be a creative, innovative, original mobile or web application that enables young people to engage with democracy. The result should address a need or problem under the scope of one of the 5 challenges and present a relevant and innovative solution to address that specific obstacle.

In the event of difficulty or failure to read the deliverable, the Innovators responsible for that Project will be notified and are responsible for re-submitting before the challenge deadline. If the deadline has expired, the Project concerned will be disqualified from the Challenge. 



7. Hackathon Format

A prep-session will be held before the start of the Hackathon to clarify all the rules, timelines and provide further instructions for the event days. 

Apart from the prep-session, information regarding mentors and other relevant details will be released through the organization’s communication channels.

The hackathon will start at 00:00 (WET) on 12th March and will end at 23:59 (WET) on 13th March. Winners will be announced on 15th March at 11:00 (WET).


Should any clarification be required, requests should be submitted in writing to the following email address: [email protected].


8. Competition Timeline (WET time zone)


22 Feb 2021 - 00:00

Challenge Launch

22 Feb 2021 - 00:00

Opening of Registrations

07 Mar 2021 - 23:59

Deadline for Registration

10 Mar 2021 - time to be confirmed


11 Mar 2021 – 18:00

Get to Know – Teams and Mentors

12 Mar 2021 - 00:00

Start of Phase 1 – Ideation

12 Mar 2021 - 15:00

Phase 1 Submission Deadline 

12 Mar 2021 - 15:01

Start of Phase 2 – MVP

13 Mar 2021 - 14:00

Phase 2 Submission Deadline 

13 Mar 2021 – 16:00

Announcement of the teams moving on to Phase 3

13 Mar 2021 - 16:01

Start of Phase 3 - Refinement & Pitch

13 Mar 2021 - 23:59

Phase 3 Submission Deadline 

14 Mar 2021 - 11:00

Announcement of the finalists 

14 Mar 2021 - 15:00

Final Pitch and voting at the EU Youth Conference by conference participants

15 Mar 2021 - 10:00

Announcement of the Winning Team


Registration after the deadline will not be accepted. Teams or Innovators who miss any of the above-mentioned deadlines will be automatically disqualified.


9. Evaluation

The main criteria that the jury will be looking for when analyzing your project are:

  • Innovation and uniqueness with respect to existing tools in the same area (25%);
  • Applicability (20%);
  • Relevance and Added Value (25%);
  • Team and individual performance (10%);
  • Scalability (20%).


The full evaluation criteria will be made available to the mentors and jury and accessible to the teams when the Challenge starts. 

The evaluation results will be converted into votes using the method available at the taikai.network platform – votes exist in the form of a virtual digital currency “KAI”, that can be given to the projects by the jury, mentors and EU Youth Conference participants, accordingly to the three cut-off points below. The team with the most “KAI” at the end of the competition will be declared the winner. 

There will be three evaluation cut-off points:

1 - The first cut-off point is after the end of Phase 2, where the one-third of the teams with the least KAI will be eliminated. This evaluation result has 30% contribution to the accumulated result.

2 - The second cut-off point is after the end of Phase 3, where the jury votes on the different projects. The 5 teams with most “KAI” will move on to the final stage, the Final Pitch. This evaluation result has 60% contribution to the accumulated result.

3 - The third and last stage will be the Final Pitch, where EU Youth Participants will also vote on the projects. This evaluation result has 10% contribution to the accumulated result.

The Team with the most “KAI” at the end will be declared the Winner. 

In the event of a tie, the President of the Backers will be the tiebreaker.  


10. Prizes 

Prizes referred to in this section are given to Innovators if the following rules are met: 

  • The delivery of Projects is in line with the quality standards and comply with the evaluation criteria of the different Jury; 
  • Innovators accept and abide by section 12 on Intellectual Property for the Winning Team; 
  • Innovators accept and abide by the rules regarding the disclosure of information regarding the Winning Team in section 13; 
  • Innovators comply with the Code of Conduct;
  • The prize can only be awarded to the Winning Team if they meet these four conditions and comply in full with these Rules.


Only Project Teams on the taikai.network website will be eligible to be declared the Winning Team and receive Prizes.  


Every Innovator acknowledges and accepts that the Organization is responsible for awarding prizes to the Winning Team only. Unless otherwise stipulated in the Rules, all extra costs related to Prizes attribution will be charged to the Winning Team. Related costs will not be covered, nor will any refunds be due. 


The Winning Team will be informed of their Prize by the Organization via email, sent to the accounts provided upon Registration on the taikai.network, at the latest 15 days after the challenge. The Innovator undertakes to respect and follow the directions indicated in the aforementioned email. However, should a Winner fail to collect the Prize for reasons outside the control of the Organization, after a period of 2 months from receipt of the email, the Organization shall be entitled to consider the Prize forfeited by the Winner.  


The top project will be awarded a prize of 10,000.00 Euros. 

The prize can be awarded to an organization, or to the project leader, if agreed by all members of the team. 

This prize is intended to further the development of the winning project. The team commits to use this prize do develop the project in order to present a final version of the project by the end of the Portuguese Presidency – details of place, date and format to be discussed with the Organization.

In addition to the monetary prize, the winner will have support from the Organization to develop the project, namely by facilitating and operating as contact point with stakeholders and partners. 


The Backer's decisions are final. No correspondence will be entered into. 



11. Cancellation

The organization reserves the right to terminate, cancel or delay the competition at any time without any obligation to indemnify the teams.



12. Intellectual Property Rights

"Intellectual property rights" refer to any invention, copyright or other rights over a brand or model and, more generally, any element that may be protected by international laws or conventions on intellectual property. 


Any Project involving several Innovators constitutes a collaborative enterprise. 

As such, the Organizers are free to reproduce, distribute, inform the public about and modify the Projects. If the Projects are modified, altered or adapted, the Organization may distribute the resulting derived work only in accordance with the terms agreed under these Rules. 


Each Innovator guarantees that he/she is the co-owner and co-holder of the Intellectual Property Rights regarding all or part of the deliverables submitted as part of the Challenge for the Project of which he/she is a member, and that he/she has obtained all rights and permissions regarding all pre-existing elements and any elements for which he/she does not hold the rights, if these elements are to be included in the deliverables in all voting phases. Each member of a Participating Team guarantees that his/her application is original and unprecedented, that it does not infringe upon the copyright of any third party, and that all the elements of which it is formed, as well as all pieces of information communicated in the application presentation document, are accurate, reliable and complete. It is compulsory for Innovators to indicate the source of any pre-existing elements (music, text, images, etc.) that are included in the deliverables. Each Innovator ensures good use of the deliverables provided by the Organizers, and as such guarantees: 


  • that the deliverables submitted by the Team of which he/she is a member are original; 
  • that they do not infringe on or imitate any copyright, patent, brand or any other intellectual property belonging to a third party; 
  • that they do not constitute an act of unfair competition or parasitic competition of any kind; 
  • that all the elements of which it is formed, as well as all pieces of information communicated in the deliverables, are accurate, reliable and complete. 

Each Innovator shall indemnify the Organizers, under the terms of the Portuguese Law, and any present and future subsidiaries, against any disruption, action, claim, opposition, demand or eviction attempt from any third party. 


During and after the Challenge, the products resulting from the team’s work may reach such a degree of innovation or originality as to qualify for intellectual property rights. The Innovators shall maintain ownership of their creations and related intellectual property rights regardless of their success in the Challenge.

The Winners agree to grant a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free licence, for the whole duration of the Intellectual Property Rights concerned, to a national or European public institution designated by the Organization, namely the European Commission, so that the winning Project can be hosted and integrated in the European Youth Portal and effectively made available in a real environment, for it to be used in line with its intended purpose.  This licence includes a licence to reproduce, adapt, translate, make available to the public via internet or otherwise, the winning Project.  The names of the Innovators will be mentioned together with the winning Project, in accordance with standard practices in the field and unless it proves impossible.

The Winners retain the rights, as owners of the Intellectual Property Rights, to further develop and commercialise the winning Project as they deem fit.

13. Communication 

Every Innovator, in the event of being declared the Winner of the Challenge, authorizes the Organizers to use his/her last name, his/her first name, his/her Twitter address, his/her contact details, his/her age, his/her city and region of residence, the name of his/her University/Startup or former University and his/her photograph in any promotional demonstration (except the purchase of advertising space), including on the websites belonging to TAIKAI and the Organization, and any site or affiliated support, without this use legally giving rise to any remuneration for a maximum of 2 years after the end of the Challenge. 


14. Liability 

The Organizers cannot be held liable in the event of a breakdown or malfunction of the telecommunications network used, whatever the cause, which may harm or prevent identification or access of the Innovator to the taikai.network website, or any other website useful for participating in the Challenge. 


Participation in the Challenge implies knowledge and acceptance of the characteristics, limitations and risks of the Internet network and the technologies which are linked to it, particularly with respect to performance, response time, the security of computer software and hardware against various potential attacks, such as viruses, logic bombs or Trojan horses, and the loss or diversion of data. Therefore, the Organizers cannot be held liable for the damages caused to the Innovator as a result of these accepted characteristics, limitations and risks. 


The Organizers cannot, under any circumstances, be held liable for any damage caused by defective or delayed delivery of the Projects, in particular for any refusal to consider late submissions, or for any damage caused by an inability to connect to the relevant websites or to upload/download correctly any delivery, defects or delivery times of any email sent during the Challenge, or for any damage caused by any constraint preventing the Innovator attending or participating in all or part of the Challenge. 


The Organizers cannot be held liable in cases of total or partial modification, suspension, interruption, adjournment or cancellation of all or part of the Challenge for reasons beyond their control. In such cases, the Organization will inform the Innovators at the earliest opportunity via the taikai.network or by any means it sees fit. 


The Organizers cannot be held liable for the consequences of a disqualification of an Innovator, and/or a Team, due to a violation of the Rules, and/or in the event of the rejection of a Project due to noncompliance with the Rules. 

The Organizers shall not be held liable for any hindrance, action, claim or objection related to the use of the Projects of the Organization not foreseen in the Rules or in connection with the negotiation, execution or performance of contracts that the Organization may sign with the Innovators. 


In any case, the Organizers will not be held liable for the delivery of the Prizes, nor in cases where a Winner is unable to benefit from his/her Prize due to circumstances beyond the Organizers’ control. The Organizers cannot be held liable in the event of loss and/or damage of the Prize during postage or any similar third-party service provision, and more generally if the Winner fails to receive his/her Prize. The Organizers cannot be held liable in the event of incidents or damage of any kind that may result from the enjoyment of the Prize awarded and/or originating from its use. 



15. Terms and Conditions

By registering for this Challenge, the Innovator accepts the General Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy provided by TAIKAI and all the Challenge Regulations. 

A confirmation email containing a confirmation link will be sent to the Innovator’s listed email address. Once his/her account has been confirmed, the Innovator can freely participate and complete their profiles. 


Any Registration containing incorrect, unreliable or incomplete information shall not be taken into account and shall disqualify the Innovator and/or the Innovator’s Team from the Challenge. 

Upon registration, the Innovator accepts the Code of Conduct of the Challenge, as published at the Challenge webpage at taikai.network.


By registering, the Innovator agrees to being contacted via email by the Organizers, for the duration of his/her participation in the Challenge, and for 2 months after the end of the Challenge.


At any time prior to the start of the Challenge, and without notice, the Organizers reserve the right to modify the terms of the Rules concerning the application and the validity of these modifications. The Innovator is advised to consult the Rules regularly. The Innovator expressly forfeits the right to lodge any complaint or challenge to any modification made to the Rules by the Organizers. 


All data collected from the participants will be used by the Organization solely in relation to this event. In accordance with Article 21 EU GDPR, participants can decide at any time to withdraw their consent to the collection, processing, storage and use of their personal data, using the email address [email protected]



16. Applicable Law

The Regulations and the Challenge shall be governed by Portuguese law. Applicants accept that any litigation related to the Challenge shall be submitted exclusively to the Portuguese courts.