Unearthed Brisbane hosts energy spark solutions

Over 90 innovators, entrepreneurs and industry professionals converged at resources sector hackathon Unearthed Brisbane over the weekend at tech hub River City Labs and The Queensland Startup Precinct. Participants had 54 hours to create solutions to three challenges, with mentors and operational data sets provided by Origin Energy.

On the opening night Maia Schweizer, Chief Development Officer at Origin, said that the company relished the hugely valuable opportunity to apply new eyes to old, tough challenges, and to embrace new ways of doing things.

After an arduous weekend extracting value from large operational data sets, 16 teams comprising software developers, data scientists, designers and entrepreneurs presented their innovative solutions. Some pitched the pure business cases and even offered to sell their solution directly to the judging panel, showing their desire to take their projects forward. Others presented their technical business case and went straight into the challenge, looking at how to solve the challenges at hand for Origin Energy.

First prize was taken out by Team DriveSafe, who tackled Origin’s challenge to improve driver safety by leveraging existing data and devices, by creating a platform that gives drivers and managers instantaneous feedback on safety and performance.

“The DriveSafe web app reduces the number of vehicle incidents, is easy and intuitive to use, and provides a seamless integration of driver workflow”, said DriveSafe team member Charlton Groves.

Team Red won second place for PFinder, a software that uses machine learning algorithms to calculate pressure.

“Our web application uses machine learning algorithms to create a model that estimates the downhole pressure at the bottom of each well, in real time with a good accuracy. Consequently it can do the work of a gauge on wells that don’t have one. It can also feed on the data provided by gauges to improve its performance”, said Leopold Fournier of Team Red.

The Young Innovator Award went to Team Pumpkin, who developed a prototype in response to Origin’s drilling optimisation through real-time performance feedback challenge.

“DrillR is a user-focused rig interface that displays key information and insights about the drilling operation. The key feature is the display of technical limits in real time, which allows rig operators to know exactly how to change the input in order to optimise their performance”, said Team Pumpkin’s Julia Huynh.

People’s Choice Award went to Under Pressure (Bowie), whose sensor-less pressure gauge uses currently available data and a machine learning model.

All top teams from Unearthed Brisbane are being fast-tracked for application into the Unearthed Accelerator Program:

“The quality solutions pitched on Sunday night at the hackathon demonstrated the awesome calibre and diversity of skill sets of participants. Supported by the commitment of industry mentors to share real data and and the many hours spent ensuring the understanding of it. Combined the community will create a great pipeline for the Accelerator which will kick off in July in Brisbane.” – Kathy Bunce, Accelerator Program Director, Unearthed.

“Across the weekend we saw teams experience the highs and lows of rapid team-structured innovation. When they are put in the pressure-cooker environment and faced with a deadline we know that the end products presented are smart, feasible and applicable technologies. What gets achieved over a weekend at Unearthed is rarely seen in other environments and the Brisbane event was no exception. Congratulations to DriveSafe and all other teams that took part.” – Mikey Kailis, Growth Manager, Unearthed.