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Applications open for online hackathon to pit best of SA tech against BRICS

by African Women in Technology AWIT
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Wednesday, 7 September 2022: The BRICS Business Council is looking for South Africa’s best future forward digital skills to represent the country in an online multi-day competition or hackathon. If you are aged between 16 and 35 and skilled in either robotic process automation, mobile app development, data science or digital factory skills, apply today to form part of the team competing in an online hackathon against top candidates from Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Online applications are open until 15 September 2022 on www.bricsfutureskills.co.za. Students at universities and TVET colleges and young professionals are eligible to apply. Those selected to participate as individuals or teams from BRICS countries will solve real-world problems in their specific skill area and will come up with a solution with the support of experts in their respective fields.

Joanne Brink, project manager at BRICS Future Skills, says that the benefits of participating in the BRICS Skills Challenge extend beyond recognition as one of the top South Africans in your field. “If you are selected, you will receive training and exposure to real-world case studies. You’ll receive a certificate, international experience to add to your CV and an opportunity to benchmark your skills at a global level,” she says.

Online training camps will be held later this month and in October, ahead of the competition. The Skills Challenge is in the form of a multi-day online hackathon taking place over 1 – 6 November 2022. Each skills area will have the support of at least one dedicated expert with a deep working knowledge in their specific skills area. This year’s challenge is supported by the Food and Beverage Manufacturing SETA.

Specific requirements for each digital skill

The mobile app challenge will evaluate the competitors’ ability to design, prototype, develop, test and debug an IOS and Android mobile application.

The data science challenge assesses a competitors’ ability to use data analysis tools to generate data visualisations that inform customer, competitor and market insights, strategic and operational decision-making.


Robotic process automation (RPA) is the use of smart software to efficiently carry out manual, repeatable and time-consuming tasks. The BRICS Skills Challenge will focus on creating RPA processes in the finance and accounting functions.

Based on the planning, implementation and optimisation of digital chemical plants, the industrial digital twin challenge assesses the use of simulation technology tools. The digital twin platform is a virtual representation of a real-life factory or system. Competitors will build, operate and maintain digital twins to complete the plant layout design, production line commissioning, digital control and efficiency optimisation of chemical plants.

Product Life Cycle Management

Product Life Cycle Management is the final priority skills area, which involves identifying a product need and taking the product from concept through to business plan. There will be a multi-disciplinary team of 6 joining this challenge who will invent the product concept, build the business case and present the implementation plan that will bring the product to life.

Brink says that another key benefit for participants is the opportunity to identify areas for improvement. “Clarifying where there is a deficit showcases where South Africa should be concentrating efforts to ensure we build skills that will be needed in the changing future of work,” she says.

Apply at www.bricsfutureskills.co.za by 15 September 2022.


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