The first competition of life sciences programming, BioHackathon, in Lithuania was held at Vilnius University Life Sciences Center (VU LSC) on the first weekend of August. It was organized by Vilnius-Lithuania iGEM team. The event gathered seven teams from Lithuania and three from Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands.
BioHackathon was opened by the Minister of Economy Virginijus Sinkevičius. He emphasized that our future is not only IT or life sciences: our future should be a combination of the synthesis of these two sciences. Afterwards the participants had a lecture on the secrets of brain effectivity by VU LSC neuroscientist dr. Urtė Neniškytė .
Word "hackathon" usually refers to a design sprint-like event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development, including graphic designers, interface designers, project managers, and others, often including subject-matter-experts, collaborate intensively on software projects. The goal of a hackathon is to create usable software or hardware with the goal of creating a functioning product by the end of the event. This BioHackathon was exceptional at that point that it aimed at improving the methods that scientists use in their daily experiments.
The best participants were awarded by financial aid awards given by Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology. The winners were VCS Practise, Skrebulai teams and a team from Lund University. A team from University of Groningen was nominated for the best presentation and the project by the team Wolves in Lakes was recognized as “the idea of breaking the standards”.
Vilnius-Lithuania iGEM team also organized a series of lectures at the end of July. Lecturers dr. Vytautas Ašeris from VU Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics, VU LSC PhD Povilas Gibas, VU LSC researcher dr. Karolis Leonavičius and co-founder of Integrated Optics Evaldas Pabrėža presented their experience in life sciences and IT sectors.