ICPC 2019: The Event that will turn Porto into the Innovation Capital of the World

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ICPC 2019: The Event that will turn Porto into the Innovation Capital of the World

After four decades of putting some of the most remarkable programmers, from universities around the world, head-to-head, the great 2019 World Finals of the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) have finally arrived in Portugal and will be hosted by the University of Porto. The passage through Porto of the world’s greatest and oldest university programming contest, however, won’t be all about the great finals. From 1 to 6 April, the “Invicta” will turn into a true technology and innovation capital of the world, as a result of a broad range of events open to all participants and potentially interested citizens.

A programming competition organized by the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto (FCUP), the 2019 edition of the  National Olympiad in Informatics, a hackathon, privileged encounters between large companies and young entrepreneurs, conferences on the future of technology and debates on the digital single market are just a few examples of a rich program of events taking place in Alfândega do Porto and Porto Innovation Hub; the “patrons” of the great 2019 ICPC World Finals event in the city.

Let us run through the events:

On 1 April, Alfândega do Porto will be hosting the Start & Scale Weeka free entry initiative (subject to prior registration) by ScaleUp Porto to “promote innovation, entrepreneurship and technology”. The starting point will be the conference: “Developing skills for the future tech industry”, where national and international guests will be discussing how new generations might impact the future of technology. On the same day, Alfândega do Porto will also host the 2019 National Olympiad in Informatics, a contest co-organized by FCUP to “promote a taste for information technology” in young secondary education students, who will be challenged to solve problems using the programming languages “C, C++, Pascal or Java”. The four more talented young computer scientists will represent Portugal in the August 2019 International Computing Olympiads, in Azerbaijan.

April 3 will be one of the busiest days of the week, starting with a hackathon – a programming marathon.  “Hackacity Porto”, supported by FCUP, is a big data event where participants are challenged to resort to the data volumes generated by the city of Porto and use them to “create instruments, analyses and models” that offer practical solutions and help improve the quality of life of the population. The contest is open to all participants upon prior registration, here.

Concurrently, secondary education students will have the opportunity to take part in a programming tournament – ToPAS – created by the Computer Science Department of the Faculty of Sciences. The tournament tests, although supervised by a jury, will be assessed by an automatic system developed by the Department specifically for this purpose. The tournament’s challenges require “problem-solving dexterity, sound knowledge of algorithms, fast programming skills and a team spirit”, but, more importantly, they aim to provide students with an opportunity to expand their “knowledge, problem-solving and computer science skills.” Also, on 3 April, the Start & Scale conferences will invite participants to reflect upon cybersecurity. The admission is free but subject to prior registration, here.

On 4 April, all attention will be geared towards the great ICPC World Finals. The Start & Scale Week programme will be running in parallel, with encounters between start-ups and large companies, in a dialogue that might form the basis for future collaborations.

The conferences will be resumed on 5 April, and the hosts guarantee that they shall not be conventional. At Porto Innovation Hub, participants will also have an opportunity to learn about different ways of financing their business, through personal and direct contact with experts in the field. The admission is free but subject to prior registration.

This week, dedicated to technology and innovation, closes with the Conference “Scaleup for Europe – There’s a Market in cities”, at the Porto Innovation Hub. The challenges and opportunities of a world that’s becoming increasingly urbanised raise an interesting question for the participants: “How can we work together, conduct business and improve the quality of life in cities?”. The conference agenda covers several points of discussion, including debates on the need for cooperation between large companies, start-ups and cities, the digital single market or the notion of cities as “opportunity hubs”. The admission is also free and subject to prior registration, here.



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