Toronto Climathon: Use big data to reduce transport emissions

In Toronto, North America’s fourth largest city, participants in the Climate-KIC Climathon will use big data to reduce carbon emissions from the city’s transportation grid.

The Climate-KIC Climathon is a global 24-hour climate change event which will take place simultaneously in major cities around the world on 28 October 2016. In Toronto, on the shores of one of the Great Lakes, the event is organised by MaxQ Accelerator and Lighthouse Labs.

Glen Murray, climate change minister for the Canadian province of Ontario, will welcome participants at the event.

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Ebrahim Mohamed, Director for Education at Climate-KIC, said: “We are very pleased to have Toronto on board this year, it is great to see a new generation of Canadians step up to find solutions to climate change. Global warming does not stop at borders, and at Climate-KIC we aim to empower innovators around the world so we can work together.”

The Challenge

The government of Canada’s Ontario province has committed to an ambitious carbon reduction strategy. Transportation alone was responsible for 34 per cent of Ontario’s carbon emissions in 2012.

During the Climathon event, participants will use big data in an effort to reduce the carbon emissions from the Toronto transportation grid – public transport, private, commercial and other vehicles – by 5 per cent, while keeping the solutions revenue-neutral.

“Decreasing costs and the miniaturisation of satellites have massively increased the amount of data that is available to us. The big data from space is really opening up huge opportunities for Canadians – we can use it to radically transform our lives, and boost our economy,” said Brodie Houlette, MaxQ Co-Founder and President.


The jury will be rewarding the first, second and third place teams and there will be a special Climate Hero prize for the largest reduction of emissions as well as a People’s Choice award.

The first place team will receive three months of desk space at DevHub for up to three people (value of $4000!), an offer to pitch at the next HackerNestTech Social and an awesome trophy to take home. 

The second and third places as well as the Climate Heroand People’s Choice winners will take home a trophy and some really sweet swag from the sponsors.


Toronto’s Climathon organisers MaxQ, Canada’s first space-data startup accelerator, and Lighthouse Labs, which was founded to educate and transform budding talent into artisan crafters of technology, are providing participants with data sets from the European Space Agency’s Copernicus satellite network, as well as from NASA and the City of Toronto’s Open Data Team.

“Toronto is a global technology leader, and opportunities to help solve real-world challenges like climate change empower our next generation of tech professionals to really master the craft of software development, launch careers, and contribute to the incredible growth of our sector,” said Jeremy Shaki, Co-Founder & President at Lighthouse Labs.

Pitching to expert judges

The Climathon event will culminate in a presentation of each group’s idea in front of panel members who will provide valuable feedback. The panel is comprised of different science and business experts.

How to join the Climathon

How will you benefit from participating in Climathon?

  • Help solve your city’s local climate challenge, and make your city more resilient to climate change
  • Network with local leaders from academia, business and public authorities
  • Develop your skills in public speaking, innovative thinking, prioritisation, and explore new tools and methodologies
  • Join forces with other like-minded entrepreneurs and innovators
  • Become a part of a global community working together to take climate action!

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