Erie Hack | College of Arts & Sciences | Kent State University

Erie Hack

Erie Hack

Presented by Cleveland Water Alliance, Kent State University, and the Gaspé Beaubien Foundation. For more information contact Bryan Stubbs, Executive Director, Cleveland Water Alliance, 216-592-2490,

The Erie Hack Water Data and Engineering Hackathon is a tech-driven international water innovation competition that will bring together student teams of coders, engineers, marketers, and water researchers to generate creative solutions to Lake Erie’s biggest challenges. The competition, which will award $100,000 to the winners, focuses on creating publicly accessible mobile apps, open data and new technology to elevate the value of clean water and leverage its potential to drive the economic vitality of the Great Lakes region.

Where can I learn more about the Erie Hack?

An informational session and reveal of the Erie Hack challenges will take place at Kent State University on Friday, February 24, 2017 at 10:00 am.  You will receive detailed information about the project, meet other individuals interested in forming teams, and even register to participate that day! 

Kent State University Erie Hack Team Information Session

Friday, February 24, 2017
10:00 am -12:00 noon
Cunningham Hall Main Lobby
1275 University Esplanade
Kent, OH 44242

Parking available in the Kent Student Center Visitor’s Parking Lot
Plan to attend?  RSVP to Annie Krieger at

For additional information about Erie Hack visit:

Erie Hack leverages the public’s interest in apps, hacking, open data, and new technology to elevate the value of clean water and improve understanding of its importance to the economic vitality of the Great Lakes region. It is an opportunity to drive innovation in the water technology sector and engage younger people pursuing technical careers in the “Blue Economy.”

The Cleveland Water Alliance and Gaspé Beaubien Foundation will manage and coordinate the program in partnership with IBM, and with support from DigitalC, Joyce Foundation, Gund Foundation, Cleveland Foundation, Toledo Community Foundation, as well as local champions and funders from each of Lake Erie’s major metropolitan areas including Toronto, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland and Buffalo.

Data Competition and Accelerator Program

Feb-April 2017: Key Cities across the Lake Erie Watershed

The foundation for the Data Competition was laid in the fall of 2016 with a series of information sessions aimed at creating teams of designers, coders, water experts, IT professionals, policy experts, and other creative minds. These teams will participate in a two-month long innovation accelerator and series of bi-weekly hackathons in 2017, with a semi-final in April of 2017 and final competition on May 2-3. The Data Competition will mobilize these teams, in concert with large data and infrastructure partners, to develop technological solutions to challenges surrounding Lake Erie and its supporting watershed.

Water Innovation Summit

May 2-3, 2017: Cleveland, OH

The series of hacking events will lead up to a two-day Water Innovation Summit featuring investment leaders, expert panelists, keynote speakers, and interactive workshops that aim to drive collaborative action and the development of common strategies to address the value of water to the Great Lakes basin. The emphases for the Summit are data, water, and infrastructure with expected international attendance of more than 450 decision makers, corporations, elected officials, and government employees from EDA, SBA, Commerce, and EPA’s office of innovation. It is here that the creators of promising solutions in the Data Competition will be awarded cash (totaling over $100k in the aggregate) and supporting acceleration and commercializing services through CWA, IBM, and GLIDE Innovation Fund.

Program Outcomes

Quantitative Metrics to be collected:
  • Community Engagement: Gather most salient water issues from Lake Erie communities
  • Direct Engagement: Register over 200 professionals, 250 students (200 college, 50 high school)
  • Solutions Provided: Quantify ecological and market impacts of over 20 functional products
  • Elevate the value of water and the role of big data/smart cities integration
  • Media and Social Analytics: Reach over 50 million in national and social media
  • Decision Makers Tour: Meet with representatives from more than 50 participating municipalities

Focus Cities & Launch

Each city will host media launch, information sessions, taste-maker tour, and hacking days

(Cleveland, Detroit, Buffalo, Toledo)

Erie Hack will begin the rollout and launch nationally with:
  • September 27: WEFTEC New Orleans (largest Water Innovation Show North America)
  • October 6/7: AquaHacking 2016: For the St Lawrence (two day final/summit in Montreal)
  • October 17: CWA Annual Meeting (Keynote VP of Sustainability with Coca-Cola)
  • November: Launch of each city media event/campaign followed by information sessions
  • October Through January: NASA Glenn ideation sessions in each city