SAP and University Alliances are serving as sponsors of the University of Notre Dame and South Bend community participation in the Hack Indiana Series: Indiana vs. Texas Challenge. Civic hacking is an opportunity for citizens, software developers, and entrepreneurs to collaborate and create, build, and invent new solutions using publicly-released data, code and technology to solve challenges relevant to neighborhoods, cities, states or the country. Students, business professionals, and entrepreneurs are welcome to participate.
The #hackINvTX Challenge is a three-week hackathon designed to invigorate an entrepreneurial culture and equip students with marketable skills while encouraging relationship formation and camaraderie across states. The Challenge will engage students and professionals already actively contributing to the Indiana tech space and will potentially lead to seeding new ventures and job-creators. You can learn more at Hack Indiana Series: Indiana vs. Texas Challenge – TechPoint
We held our kickoff event at Notre Dame’s Innovation Park on Saturday January 31st and learned through a live webcast about the two Indiana challenges described below.
Department of Homeland Security Challenge
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security partners with many other state and federal entities to provide what we refer to as a One-Stop-Shop. The purpose of the One-Stop-Shop is to assist those individuals who have been affected by a disaster. Most typically, there are representatives from Bureau of Motor Vehicles (driver’s license, registrations, ID cards), Department of Health (immunizations), Department of Workforce Development (industry status in the affected area), Family Social Services Administration (mental health assistance, Food), Red Cross (Shelters, Food, Water), other government and community support agencies and the Federal Emergency Management Administration.
In the past, these One-Stop-Shop efforts have been very successful and well received by the citizens involved. As part of our Continuous Improvement Process, it has been identified that we need a better method of registering and tracking the needs of those affected during these events.
Our vision is a database to register those requesting assistance. An application that could steer applicants through a series of questions to help match their needs with the agencies typically present when these events occur. Once the questions have been answered, the application should provide a printed report to the individual to act as a checklist to guide them through the services available. In addition, reports should be provided to each Agency listing all participants requesting their assistance. Once the event has been completed, the database needs preserved in order to assist the State with statistical information required to aid in cost recovery from FEMA.
Indiana Department of Environmental Management Challenge
IDEM’s mission is to implement federal and state regulations to protect human health and the environment while allowing the environmentally sound operations of industrial, agricultural, commercial and government activities vital to a prosperous economy.
A significant part of IDEM’s operations are the receiving and handling of documents that can include application permits, reports, and correspondence. The agency currently manages 22 permit types. The majority of these are received either in paper format or in a combination of paper and electronic media. Many of the documents that IDEM receives have to be signed. One of IDEM’s three performance metrics is the expeditious processing of permits for Indiana businesses. IDEM also receives a large amount of compliance reports from the regulated community that are also provided in a similar manner.
In order to better serve Hoosiers, Indiana businesses, and agency stakeholders, IDEM needs a centralized, streamlined, secure platform for receiving, tracking, and collaborating. Significant time in creating permits is lost in the hand offs between the agency and its stakeholders. Any system that assists in streamlining the processes and is transparent for users will benefit all.