Hackathons as a key to digital development of Moldova

In times of continuous technology development, every company that wants to be competitive on the market must ensure a high level of business digitization. But how to do it without properly educated staff? The answer to this need may be hackathons – 24-hour programming marathons.

Current reality

We live in times of constant crises – pandemic, war, economic problems… Difficult times require innovative solutions that will help activate society and create prospects for further development. According to the Social and Economic Impact Assessment of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Moldova published by UNDP in 2020, about 150 thousand students did not have access to education during the restrictions due to lack of equipment, knowledge or internet connection of students or teachers. Companies, which were not able to switch to online, stopped working, causing an economic decline of -7% of GDP in 2020. A large part of the employees of the public system had to be physically present at work, exposing themselves to the risk of becoming infected. 

At the same time, workforce capacity in the sector is limited due to new graduates’ lack of interest in sector employment and workforce exodus to better-paying countries. These were just some of the consequences of the pandemic that highlighted the need to accelerate the digital transformation in Moldova. To increase the sector’s attractiveness for potential new employees and to promote the importance of adopting digitalization at the country level, Moldavia should develop international and interdisciplinary hackathons through various industries in the near future.

Moldova’s digital future

A hackathon is a flexible invention development method, in which people face a specific challenge or a group of challenges within an imposed amount of time. It works great especially for creating technological solutions. 

Poland has already witnessed the power of hackathons. It is currently hosting Europe’s largest stationary hackathon HackYeah

The company behind the success of this event – PROIDEA – has decided to help bring the idea of hackathons to the Moldovan market.

“We are a brand that organizes high-level Polish and international events in the IT/tech industry, including the world’s third largest hackathon HackYeah and conferences such as CONFidence, 4Developers, JDD, PLNOG and many others, gathering tens of thousands of people every year. No Moldovan companies have experience in organizing such events for the specifics of the ICT industry, nor intentions on behalf of the government or other organizations to invest in the services of a foreign company that would help with this. Digital Park has the potential to organize such events but lacks the skills and capacity to do so. This project will transfer our know-how to the local partner while creating a solid action plan for an organization of an impactful event.” – Maciej Ryś, Vice President, PROIDEA.

To the benefit of all

Why is it worth investing in hackathons? Organizing hackathons can lead to building opportunities, improve local competencies and help build international connections. It will directly contribute to Moldovan’s economic development and will result in more jobs and new career opportunities.

“This project is the first but crucial step in organizing an ICT event with a noticeable impact on the acceleration of digitalization in Moldova and increased attractiveness of the sector for the workforce. During the project, PROIDEA and Digital Park will create a well-thought action plan for hackathons at Digital Park to attract future funding and support from sponsors. Additionally, we will increase the capacity of Digital Park to organize other high-level events in the future by transferring PROIDEA’s know-how through workshops and study visits to the Digital Park team. Moreover, this know-how can be applied to organize events in other economic sectors like engineering, light industry, creative industries, etc. Without a solid plan, none of this would be possible.” – Victoria Bucataru, Executive Director, Digital Park Moldova.

The future is today

The project will include training in the organization of hackathons, which will provide the Moldovan side with all the necessary know-how to develop the ideas of technological marathons on their own. Thanks to this international cooperation, it will be possible to accelerate the digitization of the region and increase the country’s competitiveness in the European arena.