Jun 22, 2019 / linn

Unlocking the Single Market in Barcelona

A great bunch of hackathon virgins, as we call them, joined us for the first ever Garage48 hack in Barcelona at the beginning of June. The European Commission as initiator, organizers and all the participants (virgins and old-schoolers) came together for one goal - to make the lives of citizens and businesses, who want to live or work in another EU country, easier.
“It was my first hackathon and I enjoyed every single part of it. So refreshing to see honest and genuine people around you, to get constructive feedback from skilled mentors and work alongside with hard-working people,” described her numero uno hackathon experience Iona Stoica, a legal consultant who came all the way from Romania.

During the 24h hackathon, four teams explored ways of unlocking the Single Market in Europe by setting the parameters of a searchable database to match Member State and EU product rules. It had to cover EU harmonized rules and include all relevant national rules – the mechanism needed to be able to allocate the right product code for the corresponding national laws automatically. To say Ioana loves challenges like hackathons is an understatement. “I’m super enthusiastic about the technology part and the improvements it brings within the European Union.”

“For us, as Garage48, it's always impressive to see the progress that teams make from the pitch until the finals,” said Joao Rei, the host for the first Barcelona hack. “And the results that were made with 24h were great. You could see that people really worked hard and intensively - all in order to get the best results for people working in different EU countries.”


A lot of work was done, you could see it from the eyes of the participants who hardly slept during the intensive hacking marathon. But this time, there could only be one winner. The Jury of five (Marian Grubben, Jean-Marc Reynders and Anna Rosa Guzman from the European Commission and Jaanus Jagomägi and Romet Tagobert from Garage48) had to make a decision. 

The Winner is - SPACERS!

Jonathan Harel from Israel, Animesh Bajpai from India, Thalita Cantos Lopes from Brazil, Leah Newman from Germany


The winning team, SPACERS at the Barcelona edition of Gateway Hackathon delivered a cracking solution to the challenge of developing a user-friendly, searchable database of Member State and corresponding EU product codes and rules. They share the €5000 prize, but the strength, creativity and not least the endurance of all contestants were clearly on show.

A huge thank you for participating and showing us what you’re made of, and a round of applause and a pat on the back to all the organizers from VO Europe and the Commission, jury members, host Joao Rei, mentors and of course, the European Commission for its vision and making all this possible.


Single Digital Gateway Database hackathon in Barcelona was the last in the series of four high-level events hosted in cities across Europe. A place where creative minds come together to map out and shape the all-in-one #SingleDigitalGateway for smarter e-services and information anywhere in Europe.

More posts based on: