After a five-day event in CTC Rijeka, the participants of the Makeathon “Mrtvi kanal – past, present and future” presented solutions that should help make the former Rječina riverbed cleaner, more fragrant, more useful and more pleasant for the residents and visitors of the city of Rijeka. The best solution is the boat “Albov” of the Galebovi team, which of all the presented prototypes had the highest functionality and stood out as the only one that cleans the Dead Canal of metal and purifies the water. 

Over the course of five days, high school students from Prezid, Malinska, Rijeka and the surrounding area were introduced to the issue of the Mrtvi kanal – they learned about its history and the reasons why the flow of the Rječina was diverted to another riverbed, its present, in which its existence is mainly defined by the stench due to the lack of water flow and bacteria that accumulate from waste water and garbage, and its future that should be at least more fragrant and fun if judged by the prototypes of the solutions developed by young Makeathon participants. 

The jury, which selected the best solutions at the Makeathon about the Mrtvi kanal, consisted of Ana Janežić from the Science and Technology Park of the University of Rijeka, Darija Vukić Lušić and Vanda Piškur from the Croatian Institute of Public Health and Renato Stanković from Delta Lab. The criteria were: functionality of the solution, visual appearance of the solution, use of recycled materials during production, innovation and presentation of the solution. 

The second place was awarded to the AMMI team, who came up with a solution called “The Fifth Bridge”, which consists of two ships connected by a bridge. One ship is used for energy production, water purification, and waste collection, and the other is enriched with greenery and offers hospitality and leisure facilities for citizens. 

Team Terminators, in addition to their excellent presentation, stood out because in its solution, which only cleans the sediment at the bottom of the canal, it uses a cable car powered by a bicycle that should be operated by citizens. This showed that they also thought about how to actively involve citizens in the revitalization of the Mrtvi kanal. 

Team Gnjurci used an enviable number of recycled materials when creating their prototype, and they thought a lot about automating and running their vessel without a human crew. The Ninja Turtles created an imposing ship design that would show its full potential on much larger channels. 

In addition to mentors from the Center of technical culture Rijeka and the Croatian ship modelers’ association, Makeathon participants discussed and consulted with representatives of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, Delta Lab and Torpedo Production Park about potential solutions for water pollution in Mrtvi kanal. In their free time, they hung out on the beach and toured around the city. 

The Makeathon is part of the INNO2MARE project funded under the Horizon Europe program, which unites 19 organizations from Croatia, Slovenia and Belgium with the aim of strengthening the capacity of the ecosystem of Western Slovenia and Adriatic Croatia for excellence in research and innovation through a series of jointly designed activities aimed at the digital and green transition of maritime industry. The INNO2MARE project will connect key organizations in the regional innovation ecosystems of Western Slovenia and Adriatic Croatia, contribute to reducing differences in innovation and competitiveness between older and new EU members, and will develop an innovation culture and a culture of excellence at all levels. 

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