Cities and regions globally are increasingly shifting towards innovation, bringing digitisation and the Internet of Things into all aspects of human and business life. In Newcastle the local innovation ecosystem is leveraging the city’s emerging smart city infrastructure for trialling and developing innovative solutions to address urban challenges that may not be possible to be explored in more complex and highly congested urban environments.

The Urban IoT Hackathon recognises these future urban challenges and invites cross-disciplinary teams from IT, Business, Design, Sociology, IoT, Engineering and Environment Science backgrounds to imagine IoT insertions, activations, integrations and solutions which benefit citizens, business, community and Government.

Teams will need to focus on one of our #SoNewy Challenge Topics and how it might interact in our NewyDex initiative:

1. Vibrant City: People don’t always know what’s on or where to go to make best use of the city - How can IoT help people assess the mood and pulse of the city to help them make decisions about what to do and where to go?

2. LuminoCity: Parts of the city are poorly lit, considered risky and are therefore underutilised, with a corresponding impact on night time economy and cultural life. How can IoT activations help bring more people into the city at night to help make it safer?

3. Circular City: The amounts of energy and effort that go into production are wasted in a throw away society. How can IoT help the war on waste and improve re-use of resources, or deliver greater efficiencies in their use?

4. Open Challenge: Got an activation in mind that fits in a different box? We've also set up a catch-all category for those who choose a different path, or march to the beat of a different drum.

We'll have a team of roving mentors able to help you refine and test your ideas, such as Jonathan Milgate from Anditi, Cheryl Gledhill and Mick Rippon from Blue Chilli. We're also grateful to have Steve Cooper ( as a remote mentor for you to interact and test your ideas with.

Hackathon Sponsors


$5,000 in prizes

First prize + Residency

$3000 cash prize and a 3 mth residency at Eighteen04, valued at $1200

Second prize

$1500 cash prize for second place

Third Prize

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


Teams of three to five individuals.

As it is an open Hackathon, anyone can participate whatever their skill level and experience. Participants will be tasked with creating an integrated IoT solution to their chosen challenge.


Andrew Goodwin

Andrew Goodwin

Brian Hill

Brian Hill

Nathaniel Bavinton

Nathaniel Bavinton
Newcastle City Council

Maxine Sherrin

Maxine Sherrin
Spark Festival

Judging Criteria

  • Technology+ Engineering aspects
  • Risk and Security aspects
  • Business + Civic benefits

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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Hackathon sponsors

Community Partners

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