EU goes large on BIG: (Bridging Interoperability Gaps) hackathon

Not put off by the complex circumlocutions and (many people with an understanding of economics and common sense would argue) calamitous complications and consequences of Brexit, the European Union’s informatics division is driving ahead with software application development initiatives to encourage skills and innovation in programming, with an emphasis on open source. 

The big news here is the BIG (Bridging Interoperability Gaps) hackathon staged from 28 June to 5 July 2021.

Registration here is still open at the time of writing, but these pages could be worth visiting ad Infinium for related initiatives and information.

The BIG Hackathon is an online hackathon organised by an open source initiative funded by the ISA2 Sharing and Reuse Action (2016.31)

It aims to build a generic bridge, able to connect national systems to the CEF Digital eDelivey network.

Cross-border interoperability

Working with NIIS, the hackathon will use the generic bridge to connect X-Road® (the national data exchange system used in Estonia and Finland) to link with software products in the market that use the eDelivery European interoperability protocol. 

According to the organisers, “The hackathon is a call to action to ethical hackers worldwide to help us build a secure bridge that will improve the connections between national systems of member states and allow seamless administrative communication.”

The winning teams will receive cash prizes from €500 to €2500. 

This hackathon is an ISA2 sponsored component of the Sharing and Re-use action (2016.31), which aims to bring together European Public Services on open source. 

The action has four areas of focus:

  • Inventory: Creating an initial, first cut, inventory of open source software used by European Public Services
  • Funding: Studying the need for a European Open Source Funding Mechanism and then defining how it could work
  • Security: running bug bounties on software selected from consulting multiple public administrations
  • Hackathons: Holding events/hackathons to tackle common issues in open source that the European Public Services may be facing.

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