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Lagos picks front runners in smart meter hackathon

The Lagos State Government has picked front-runners that will participate in the final hackathon design event slated for September 16 through 18, 2020 when the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu will announce the overall winner from each competing entries in hardware and software categories at the grand finale.

Five contenders each emerged from both categories of the competition, and the two winners will share the prize money of N7 million.

The finalists were shortlisted after a transparent, rigorous, and competitive process.

The hackathon received 274 entries: 127 bid in the hardware category, while 147 competed in the software group. However, only 65 hardware and software prototypes were submitted by applicants.

The shortlisted five finalists from the hardware category are Cosmo Automation, Smart Energy, Techwizard, Power Bit Cruchers, and Gadozz Electricals, while the five software finalists are: Vectorians, Zeena Platform, Magnitronics, Chosen Soft-Tech, and Gideon.

This initiative of the Lagos State Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources is aimed at providing affordable electricity meters to the populace by facilitating the design and production of meters that will accelerate efforts towards achieving improvement in energy distribution, monitoring, and prevention of revenue leakage.

Over 60 percent of Lagosians and Nigerians are estimated to be unmetered due to unavailability and the high cost of meter acquisition. The Lagos State government is, therefore, leveraging bright local talents to design and produce affordable smart electricity meters.

Speaking on the hackathon judging process, Doja Ekeruche, advisory board member, Eko Innovation Centre, curators of the hackathon, noted that 19 judges with expertise in the power and tech ecosystem participated in the shortlisting process that produced the finalists.

“We asked companies in the energy and tech ecosystem to nominate representatives to serve on the selection panel, tasked with shortlisting the top five finalists from both hardware and software tracks to proceed to the final hackathon events,” she explained.

She added: “At the end of the shortlisting phase, a session was held with the judges to discuss the reviewing process, and an analytics team ranked the submissions by all judges to arrive at the top finalists.”

Recall that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu during the launch of the programme on July 30, 2020, noted that the smart meter hackathon initiative marked a significant milestone in the implementation of the state government’s plan towards improving access to electricity as it aligned with the Sustainable Development Goal 7 of the United Nations targeted at achieving universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all by 2030.

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