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Ready for the EPO’s first ever public CodeFest?

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CodeFest key visual

The EPO's first ever public CodeFest commences on 15 September and tackles one of today's key sustainability challenges: ridding the planet of plastic waste. Global success depends on access to the right kind of know-how and that's what this major new competition is all about: making the know-how contained in patents concerning green plastics more readily available to innovators everywhere.

The ultimate aim is to inspire future innovation that supports healthy ecosystems and drives the circular economy for plastics. In alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, we are taking our commitment to sustainability and monitoring green technologies to the next level with initiatives such as the EPO's CodeFest on Green Plastics.

The code challenge

Some of the groundwork has already been done in a recent EPO study on patents for tomorrow's plastics. This shows how patent data reflects the rapid rise in innovation in plastics that are easier to recycle, as well as in recycling technologies. The study provides an excellent introduction to the topic and an important starting point for anyone wishing to take on the current code challenge, which is:

To develop creative and reliable artificial intelligence (AI) models for automating the identification of patents related to green plastics.

We are calling on talented minds to register for the event now, either in an individual capacity or as a team of up to five people. If you are aged 18 or over, resident in one of the EPO member states and meet the eligibility criteria set out in the rules of the competition, simply go to the official registration site below and enter by 31 October.

With their registration, entrants are expected to submit an outline of their approach for solving the code challenge, which then runs from 15 November 2022 to 15 January 2023. The finalists will be announced ahead of the online CodeFest award ceremony on 23 February at 14.00 hrs CET. 

The jury   

Submissions will be evaluated by senior specialists from across the EPO working in sustainability, IT, data science and AI, as well as patent information and analysis. The biographies of the jury members are available via the official CodeFest on Green Plastics site.

The prizes

Prize money totalling EUR 45 000 has been made available for this competition.

The background

The EPO's unparalleled data resources are relied upon by a range of governmental and international organisations, such as IP Offices, the OECD, International Energy Agency (IEA), International Renewable Energy Association (IRENA) and European Commission, as well as researchers and patent information specialists. The CodeFest on Green Plastics is a major opportunity to help improve access to these resources and contribute to the development of an automated classification scheme for sustainable technologies. The competition will also help prepare the way for creating a platform for exchange on AI-based approaches to organising the EPO's wealth of patent information.

Further information