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(ph. Marino Sterle courtesy of AREA Science Park)

“The Silencers” team was the winner of #AttractYoung

A group of young people - some of them very young - from 15 different countries, technology geeks who are strongly aware of social and environmental issues to be tackled and solved with creativity and innovation. The participants in the first #AttractYoung hackathon finished a two-day intense and collaborative workshop, in a competition that engaged them from a human and intellectual perspective focusing on major topics such as alternative energies, access to culture and education, anti-personnel mine detection, social inclusion, health, food safety, sustainable mobility, water, waste and much more.

Divided into ten teams in Area Science Park conference hall, they developed and finalised their project idea after hours of heated debate. “The best team - underlined Sergio Bertolucci, Attract Scientific Committee coordinator - will be financed by a € 20 m fund allocated by the EU to the Attract programme, of which #AttractYoung is part, in the framework of Horizon 2020”.

“The Silencers” team won this first edition tackling the challenge “Silence as a sound profit”. It will be awarded with a five-day visit toCERN (Geneva) and to ESRF (Grenoble).

Teams were assessed based on different criteria such as substance and innovation of the proposal, ability to strike the audience, to help other teams, to be positive and open to others.

The hackathon started with a session focusing on an organisational development methodology based on the use of Lego bricks. The LEGO Team Building was set up in the early 2000s and has become a very popular activity in company conventions and kick-offs. Its main aim is to lead participants to build a 3d model of their strategic, operational or relational problem with their own hands, having the opportunity to go through the different steps in a simplified and (apparently) playful way with clear benefits. This type of format is managed by a facilitator and can develop skills in terms of cooperation, communication, leadership, task distribution, time and resource management, while giving participants the opportunity to express themselves and to get to know one another better. People can be strongly engaged and classical “one-direction” business meetings (where 20% of people speak and 80% of people listen with no interaction) turn into a different and more “democratic” experience, where everyone has the time to explain their ideas, to tell their “story” and to give their contribution.

#AttractYoung was organised by Area Science Park, Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste, INFN Trieste - National Institute for Nuclear Physics, in collaboration with ATTRACT initiative joined by some leading scientific organisations such as CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), ESO (European Southern Observatory), ESRF (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility) and EMBL (European Molecular Biology Laboratory).
CAENelsKyma and Ideasquare from CERN also contributed to this event.
The ideas presented in the competition were the following:

1) Malala- Topic: access to culture, misinformation and fake news. Solution: development of an algorithm helping to assess information accuracy and truthfulness, and to what extent the source of information is reliable.
2) Smothies - Smothies- Topic: environment, safety, food. Solution: design of a circular economy ecosystem for food production and biodegradable vegetable packaging.
3) CCD – Connecting Culture Delegates - Topic: Cultural Integration, bullying. Solution: a device that would allow a bullier to feel what the one he is intimidating is currently feeling.
4) DDT- Disease detector and treatment - Topic: cancer treatment. Solution: develop a detector detecting and treating lung cancer which is accessible to all (even to third world countries) because it is cheap and user-friendly.
5) Soundcheck - Topic: environmental monitoring. Solution: detector to be installed on streetlamps to create a map showing noise peaks in order to deviate them.
6) Leaf the light- Topic: alternative energies. Solution: power collection from living water plants. A fully sustainable form of energy.
7) The Silencers(WINNERS) - Topic: alternative energies. Solution: development of panels transforming noise energy into electricity with noise isolation.
8) Miners- Topic: anti-personnel mines. Solution: development of an anti-personnel mine detection system in both cities and rural areas. The system is based on genetically modified flowers, trained bees and drones.
9) Nova Mobilitas- Topic: mobility. Solution: model connecting all private and public transport systems in a city to optimise traffic flows and reduce costs creating a database to design smart cities.
10) Hydra- Topic: water pollution. Solution: development of an autonomous underwater drone detecting the concentration of 3 groups of commonly-used antibiotics (penicillin, SDM and tetracycline) causing water pollution and fish plague.

#AttractYoung is one of the events celebrating Trieste European City of Science 2020. Last July, Trieste was selected to host ESOF - EuroScience Open Forum in July 2020. A series of events and initiatives have already started to be organised in 2018 to culminate in the final Forum in 2020.



  • RAI.TV dd 19.04.2018: TGR Friuli Venezia Giulia avi
  • RaiRadio dd 24.04.2018: RADAR il progetto "HarmoNIA" mp3

Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 October 2019 11:17