Villars Hackathon 2022

In late December 2022, we held the first ever Mercuria Hackathon. A weekend event where 50 participants came from all across Europe to create innovative solutions for software development that used fewer physical resources and energy more efficiently.

Held in the Swiss Alps at the Villars Alpine Resort complex in the beautiful Villars-sur-Ollon, the challenge was for the interdisciplinary teams to experiment with cutting edge technology and create real solutions which could form the foundation for innovative change in the shipping industry.

Challenge background

About 90% of world trade is transported by sea and carbon emissions from shipping are increasing. In 2018, shipping’s share of global CO₂ emissions was 2.9% or around 1.1 billion tonnes.

This was an increase of 100 million tonnes since 2012 and more annual emissions than the entire nations of Canada, Brazil, Mexico, France or the UK.

If left unchecked, scientific studies predict that shipping could become responsible for 17% of global emissions by 2050.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) – the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine and atmospheric pollution by ships – aims to reduce the shipping sector’s overall greenhouse gas emissions by 50% from 2008 levels by 2050.

Mercuria Energy Group ran our first hackathon to raise awareness of this important topic and to lay down a challenge for like-minded entrepreneurs and problem solvers to create real solutions that could play a part in the energy transition to a zero carbon world.

Shipping by the numbers


World trade transported by sea

Million tonnes of CO2 emitted in 2018


Target emissions reduction by 2050

The challenge was broken down into 3 independent, yet inter-related, parts to allow teams and participants of different skill and experience levels to take on the parts that they were most capable of, or most interested in, solving.

The winning team were successful in working on all 3 parts of the challenge and developing a working prototype for demonstration.

#challenge 1

Monitoring, reporting and verification


#challenge 2

Voyage route optimization


#challenge 3

Cargo logistics optimization

Interested in being involved in future challenges?

Following this inaugural hackathon in December 2022, we will be running hackathons in new locations throughout 2023.

You could be joining up to 50 fellow participants for a free weekend stay for some hard work, an amazing networking opportunity and great fun. 

Really enjoyable would highly recommend.

Having assigned teams was a really good way of increasing interactions and ensuring a range of skills.

Hannah Falk

University of St Andrews, Scotland

Keep up the good work. Cannot thank you enough for this wonderful event.

One would look back at these memories and smile.

Aditya Ujeniya

Università della Svizzera italiana, Lugano, Switzerland

A good event, good hackathon theme, solid project ideas and scope.

Excited to see what the next one is about.

Akshaj Verma

Vrije University Amsterdam, Netherlands