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Hi!PARIS hackathon 2023: a cornerstone challenge crossing Science, Tech and Business for good

The final sprint of Hi! PARIS data challenge 2023 happened on the weekend of January 13th to 16th on the theme of AI & Energy Sobriety on ENSTA campus. HEC Paris students teamed up with participants from 10 different engineering schools and universities and ended up in 5 out of 7 winning teams. Read more about their journey in quest of AI-based solutions to the energy crisis.  

Since 3 years, the hi!ckathon has been a highlight for Hi! PARIS center as it embodies the core values and mission of the center: the interdisciplinarity born from the academic alliance of HEC Paris and IP Paris (Institut Polytechnique de Paris); the combination between education, entrepreneurship, research and business world; the ambition to offer answers to the major technological, economic and societal challenges with a positive impact. 

This 2023 edition of the Hi!ckathon has set records. More than 340 students participated in the 5-week pre-hackathon training, consisting in 7 webinars delivered by heads of AI or data scientists from Hi! PARIS corporate donors (L’Oréal, Capgemini, TotalEnergies, Kering, Rexel, Vinci and Schneider Electric) on the subject of energy efficiency.  

During the final sprint, 130 students from 7 countries and 10 different academic institutions were gathered for a non stop week-end on the Paris-Saclay plateau. And a total of 26 teams made it to the finishing line, and among them 20 HEC students, pictching in front a jury of professors, consultants and companies executives.  

A reference in the world of hackathons  

A former participant in the previous editions and moderator of this 2023 opening ceremony, Louis... was not surprised by the number of students enrolled this year as "the Hi!ckathon has really became a reference among all data challenges".  

Jury members were all unanimous about the high quality of the projects submitted by the students, while underlying the complexity of the case submitted: "Supporting Energy Transition: Toward Modelling the Energy Consumption of Buildings". Students were asked to design AI to predict the energy consumption of European buildings. In order to estimate cost savings and automate energy assessments, students had to design an app that leverages a model & address the key obstacles to refurbishment, based on a dataset of 1.5 million European buildings with their technical features & yearly energy consumptions.  

One of the companies’ representatives said she was "really impressed by the quality of these data science-oriented students' contributions and their capacity of business projections as well". Another jury member did mention that "this Hi!ckathon was really refreshing and inspiring" for their own "future projects but also for their business models."