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A Berlin-based startup behind the disinfection station, SunCrafter, actually uses repurposed solar cells to generate the ultraviolet light that can safely disinfect people’s hand.

The hackathon was designed to share and rapidly develop ideas to combat the current Corvid-19 pandemic, and the winners won €20,000 as their prize.

The SunCrafter business model is to use modules decommissioned by industrial solar farms to provide power to remote communities.

Global Hack

More than 12,000 people from over 100 countries took part in the Global Hack event reports the ESA.

The event was organised by Estonian-based Garage48 and sponsored by ESA’s business incubation centre in Estonia, with the wining entries announced on 12 April.

The hackathon tackled 12 topics, including education, the economy, mental health and the environment.

“There were very progressive ideas about tackling the current crisis,” said Joana Kamenova, an outreach and business analyst at ESA, who was one of 180 people to volunteer as a response mentor during the hackathon.

“How do we support small businesses coming out of the current lockdown? How do we learn from this crisis and tackle climate change? To contemplate how the emerging solutions can be scaled up by using space data and technology is very exciting. Some of the ideas are truly epic.”

To market

The winning systems may emerge into wider circulation.

“We will connect with teams that developed novel space-related ideas to help them get the financial support they need to bring their solution to market,” said Andrus Kurvits, manager of the ESA business incubator centre in Tartu, Estonia.

Lisa Wendzich, founder and chief executive of SunCrafter, said that the company  was now working with partners to identify how to manufacture significant numbers of the units in the coming weeks and months.

“This technology could be used in field hospitals, refugee camps and urban slums in countries with poor energy supplies, as well as in public spaces in the global north,” she said.

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