Hackathon Heat in the network

We are looking for innovative solutions to encourage the further development of District Heating. Let's celebrate the 50 years of District Heating in Brescia together!

Area: District heating


To celebrate the 50th anniversary of District Heating in Brescia, we organized a Hackathon which aims to identify innovative solutions in this field in order to extend the positive impacts of this technology on the communities of the Brescia area.

District heating, in fact, is a reliable and efficient system for heating homes that respects the environment and uses the resources available in the area.

Specifically, it involves the erasure of boiler purchase costs and the reduction of operating and maintenance costs compared to traditional heating systems, thus increasing the level of safety.

From an environmental point of view, district heating guarantees greater energy efficiency, savings in the used fuel and a lower consumption of primary energy sources of fossil origin.

Object of the call

We are looking for ideas that can lead to the birth of sustainable projects that enhance the opportunities deriving from district heating. We are involving the 4th and 5th year students of the High Schools of Brescia of the school year 2022-2023, as they are actors directly interested in taking part in the transition to a more sustainable city model.

There are three challenges on which you will have the opportunity to work, which concern different issues connected to District Heating:

  • District heating offers many advantages: use of local heat sources, high security of supply, reduced space requirements, reduced maintenance costs. District heating is also one of the most effective tools for reducing carbon dioxide emissions and its diffusion is constantly growing, especially in Europe. Yet, it is still possible to do better by exploiting renewable energy sources (biomass, geothermal energy, etc.) and \ or integrating heat from industrial recovery into heating networks and reducing the consumption of fossil fuels. Which could be the new opportunities for integrating heat sources, including renewable ones, with district heating networks?
  • To make the most of the potential of district heating, a combined system that also produces electricity is often used in thermal power stations. Thanks to advanced technologies, in fact, the power plant is able to produce thermoelectric energy and at the same time to recover the waste heat that is released during this process. For instance, the one of the hot water or steam that feeds the turbines, or the one of the exhaust fumes produced by combustion. The same mechanism occurs for the recovery of fumes from waste treatment. Starting from this example of energy efficiency, what other initiatives can be implemented in school buildings to minimize energy waste and optimize the use of resources?
  • In order for all the benefits deriving from district heating to be fully understood by the city community and for all the citizens to be aware of the environmental, economic and safety advantages of this method of supplying heat and energy, it is increasingly necessary to launch communication and awareness campaigns that highlight the qualities of district heating. Which levers can be used to train and inform citizens in the best possible way? How should an effective communication campaign be developed?


Why partecipate?

The Hackathon represents an important opportunity for your professional training. An innovative way to learn through concrete projects and real-life challenges of a social, environmental and economic nature. You will be supported by tutors and mentors, and you will interact with experts from the business and professional world, going to acquire and refine different skills, such as the baility to work in a team and manage critical issues in the development of a project, with the goal of prototyping ideas that have a positive impact on the local community. Thanks to the support of teachers and organizers, technical notions relating to district heating, energy and heat distribution will also be transferred before the Hackathon to guarantee you the same level of preliminary knowledge. During the two days, you will put into practice what you have learned, bringing out creativity and inventiveness and becoming the promoters of change, thanks to the active development of proposals that can be implemented from a business and professional point of view, which will guarantee you a competitive advantage for future paths and uses.

The finalist teams that will be able to access the Hackathon will be 9, 3 per challenge. A jury will elect 3 winning teams, one for each challenge, which will be rewarded with vouchers worth € 250 per person.

How to partecipate?

Participants will be able to apply in teams composed of a minimum of 3 to a maximum of 6 people. However, it will also be possible to apply individually. For students who already have an idea, it will be possible to enter a brief description in the form and / or submit a first draft of the proposal, also attaching a short document. Even though this is optional, it is a preferential element if the applications are very numerous and it is necessary to carry out a preliminary screening of the candidates.

The Hackathon will be divided into the following steps:

  • Application opening: starting from the beginning of June 2022, you can apply for the Hackathon by selecting one or more challenges of interest. To apply, just click on the Tell us your idea button and fill out the application form until the first week of October. Before the startimg of the Hackathon, the organizers will be responsible for communicating to the team which challenge has been assigned to those who have expressed the most preferences.
  • Screening of candidates (eventual): in the case of numerous applications, screening activities will be carried out on the projects (for those who have already submitted a first project idea) and on the best candidates on the basis of the criteria defined in the regulation.
  • Hackathon: starting from the morning of 21 October 2022, the selected teams will participate in the projects, supported by tutors and mentors.
  • Pitching sessions: on October 22, in the afternoon, the teams will have a maximum of 5 minutes each to present the pitches of the project ideas they have worked on.
  • Award ceremony: based on the KPIs present in the regulation, the proposed solutions will be graded from a jury made up of A2A members. The first classified for each challenge will receive a prize.


Regulation Hackathon - Heat in the network

Do you have a project in mind?

Test yourself with one of our Challenges or send us an open application.