Hackathon on Mobility: Teams in Maranhão Engage the Innovation Marathon

About Vale


Hackathon on Mobility: Teams in Maranhão Engage the Innovation Marathon

Attentive look, smiley face, and mostly the expression of who is ready to engage in an innovation marathon. It portrays the participants of Vale's Hackathon on Mobility, which brought together enthusiasts of entrepreneurship, programming, and technology. The main purpose? Develop a viable solution to improve the internal mobility of Ponta da Madeira terminal, in São Luís (Maranhão).

Vale’s Hackathon, held on the 8th, 9th and 10th, was attended by 30 students from engineering, computing and related areas, divided into eight teams. The students, who came from Maranhão, Piauí and Ceará, were mentored by Vale’s professionals from the Information Technology and Transportation areas, as well as partner startups.

This is the best way to translate the 'going beyond': Developing solutions together with communities, universities, and employees in our innovation environments. For Vale, this adds a lot of value. That’s how we see innovation at Vale,

comments José Raimundo Junior, Cargo Discharge Operations manager.

The winning solution was elected by a team of judges composed by Vale, academy and government representatives, considering their potential to contribute to development of mobility solutions not only for Vale but also for the community.

Theory and Practice

“Putting the lessons learned at university into practice in a great organization as Vale is a dream coming true,” celebrated Ramon Luigi, from the winning Valemover team. It’s a great pleasure for the Valemover team.” Photo of Valemover Team: Kássia Pereira (Production Engineering), Andreia Costa (Information Systems), and Ramon Luigi (Production Engineering), CEUMA University students.

The Solution

The team has redesigned the routes of transportation vehicles using a genetic algorithm, and proposed a logistic model based on pull production – circular buses or support cars leave the station only by demand. With the new product, users can request a vehicle, informing point of departure, final destination, and the number of people to be transported. Next, they receive a link to monitor the vehicle until it arrives at their location, so they can board the vehicle. The key gains include reduction of the waiting time, reduction of the time wasted by the vehicle in case there is no demand, and the possibility of monitoring the transportation vehicle. The product has remote application functionality available for cell phone, tablet, totems spread across Vale, and desktop. From now on, the solution will undergo adjustments for implementation by Vale's IT and transportation areas.

Entertainment and Commitment Together at Vale’s Hackathon on Mobility

In addition to the immersive work, Hackathon participants experienced entertaining moments throughout all three days. Before the kick-off of the works, there was a show of the band of Vale’s employees. The program also featured cultural attractions, DJ, group dynamics activities, and snacks for the participants. The connection with students, speaking their language, reinforced the purpose of the event about getting close to the community, promoting education and development at our region, said Roberto Di Biase, North port executive manager. He added: “Why not bring more people here to understand what our problems are and propose a different solution? This is the first step on this path, which is also a new way of strengthening relations.”

Hélio Mosquim also pointed out the importance of the event: “It was a fantastic experience, with an impact far beyond innovation for problem solving. A great example of sustainable development for the Northen region, where Vale welcomed local talented university students. It was inspiring to see Vale’s volunteer professionals, of different areas, supporting the students and fully engaged with the initiative. The students learned more about our operations, understood the mobility challenge, and made the effort to propose ideas and solutions, all intensively and interactively. I really congratulate all of them!”

Hackathon on Mobility: Teams in Maranhão Engage the Innovation Marathon