Press release

ArcelorMittal Belgium organises ‘The Challenge’, its first Industry 4.0 hackathon

Ghent, September 17 2017

ArcelorMittal Belgium’s first hackathon – an event where computer programmers and technology specialists collaborate over a short time period to create new software – has taken place in the centre of Ghent.

‘The Challenge’ was open to students and young entrepreneurs with a strong interest in IT and design. The 65 participants of the ArcelorMittal Belgium hackathon were given 48 hours to come up with a creative solution for an industry-based conundrum, focused on welding fractures. The overarching theme for the hackathon weekend was ‘Smart factory’ and ‘Industry 4.0’.

After almost 48 hours of the Challenge hackathon, on September 17 the award ceremony took place. Each team had to give a five-minute presentation to pitch their project to the panel of judges, consisting of experts from ArcelorMittal Belgium, Ghent University and the University of Liège. €8,500 of prize money was awarded, divided into four categories: Visualization, Artificial Intelligence, User Experience and Best Overall Solution. The award ceremony took place in the presence of State secretary Philippe De Backer.

The winners were:

  • Visualisation – No Name

  • Artificial Intelligence – One Bonsai

  • User Experience – Staalent

  • Best Overall – One Bonsai

    Best Overall – One Bonsai

Matthieu Jehl, CEO ArcelorMittal Belgium, said: “Innovation is part of our DNA. We are a highly technological and innovating company that focusses strongly on Industry 4.0. On a daily basis, we utilize the newest techniques in terms of capturing, processing, visualizing and analyzing a wide range of data, and continuously push the boundaries of steel making. This very first ArcelorMittal Belgium hackathon, which required participants to find a creative solution to a complex software issue, fits perfectly in our mindset of continuous innovation.”

Throughout the hackathon weekend, a wide variety of workshops and training sessions were organized during which experts from ArcelorMittal Belgium and the universities of Liège and Ghent shared their knowledge about the world of Industry 4.0. Participants also got the chance to try out activities including drone racing.

Philippe De Backer, State secretary for the Fight against Social Fraud, Privacy and North Sea: “The digital revolution moves at a tremendous pace. We need to ensure that no one misses the digital train. Initiatives such as this hackathon give people the opportunity to get familiar with the world of industry 4.0. They are, as such, an indispensable element for the digitalization of Belgium.”


About ArcelorMittal in Belgium
ArcelorMittal Belgium, with production sites in Gent, Liège, Genk and Geel has a workforce of 5,800 employees. Its total number of direct and indirect jobs is estimated at 13,000. In 2016, the company shipped 6.6 million tons of finished steel products to its customers, destined for the automotive sector and many other industries such as the white goods sector, construction, packaging…

ArcelorMittal Belgium
Jan Cornelis
Tel.: +32 (0)9 347 35 72 / +32 (0)499 599 394
John Kennedylaan 51, B-9042 Ghent