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Treasury Board Minister Tony Clement applauds innovative uses of federal government datasets in Canadian Open Data Experience

March 31, 2014 – Ottawa – Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Minister Clement is pleased to announce the winning teams for CODE, the first national appathon using federal government Open Data. The winning team is Electric Sheep from the University of Guelph and the University of Waterloo. The team was awarded the $25,000 Grand Prize provided by contest sponsor OpenText Corporation – well-known for its support of Open Data in Canada. Electric Sheep also won the Fan Favourite Prize of $1000, as chosen by Canadians in an online poll.

The two member Electric Sheep team, Jason Ernst and Carlos Saavedra, developed the newRoots app using datasets from Employment and Social Development Canada, Statistics Canada, the Canada Revenue Agency, and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. NewRoots matches new Canadians with cities that will give them the greatest opportunity to maximize their potential and be successful, productive citizens of Canada.

  • The second place $5000 prize provided by XMG Studio went to Team Quantified from North York. Kevin Quan developed the A Healthier Commute app using datasets from Natural Resources Canada, and Statistics Canada. A Healthier Commute provides users with personalized and specific feedback about the costs of their daily commute to encourage people to consider ways to improve their trip to work.
  • The third place $1000 prize went to team SYLM from Markham. Sunny Mak developed the Deep Breath app using datasets from Environment Canada. Deep Breath displays air quality data from local monitoring stations and nearby large facilities emitting pollutants for given locations.
  • The top three teams were selected from 15 finalists, from British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec.

At the CODE Grand Finale on March 28, finalists presented their apps to a panel of industry professionals and venture capitalists during a live judging event. Judges voted on the app they felt best demonstrated innovative concept, art and design, usefulness, use of open data, and stability.

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada supports CODE because of its commitment to the continued use and development of Open Data to promote entrepreneurship, innovation, growth, and long-term prosperity.
  • The CODE appathon took place over the weekend of February 28 to March 2, when participants from across the country turned federal Open Data into interesting and beneficial applications. Over 900 participants from across the country competed in CODE to create an unprecedented 110 submissions using federal government datasets.
  • Judges included Robert Herjavec, author and Shark Tank TV Host, as well as other experts and enthusiasts in the field: Minister Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board; James McGourlay, Senior VP, Global Customer Service, OpenText; Gerri Sinclair, Corporate Director, Strategic Innovation Consultant & Principal of The Gerri Sinclair Group; and, Dr. Mohamed Lachemi, Provost and Vice President Academic, Ryerson University.

Quotes

"I am thrilled to congratulate the finalists and the winners of Canadian Open Data Experience. The event showcased some of our great Canadian talent, and these apps demonstrate how we can unlock the potential of Open Data."

– Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board

"What a great competition – every app was a winner and merits further development. It was incredible that these apps, the thinking and linkage to the Open Data could be done in just 48 hours. Canada is a hotbed of talent – watch out world!"

– Robert Herjavec, Founder and CEO, The Herjavec Group, leading cyber security firm and a Shark host on ABC's Shark Tank

"CODE is something all Canadians can be proud of – I know I am. I applaud not only the teams that participated in the event, but also the Treasury Board Secretariat and Industry Canada for their commitment and determination to remain at the forefront of the open data movement."

– Ray Sharma, Founder and President of XMG Studio Inc., the creator of Canada's largest competitive hackathon and organizer of CODE

"Competing in CODE was an amazing experience. We feel very encouraged by the vote of confidence from the judges and fan favourite voters, and are excited to move ahead with the business plan we presented in the pitch. We are committed to transforming lives and putting our stamp on the world, and we feel newRoots is an application that will get us started on this path."

– Jason Ernst and Carlos Saavedra, team Electric Sheep, winners of the $25,000 top prize for newRoots

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Picture from the CODE event

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