The First-ever 5G Policymakers’ Hackathon Announced

August 31, 2021

The first 5G policymakers’ hackathon will be held on November 26-27 in Riga, Latvia, during the 5G Techritory Forum. ‍

The hackathon will bring together participants from businesses, mobile operators, European and national policymakers, and lawyers to map existing policy and develop recommendations for approaches to policy adaptation to support 5G deployment in the Baltic Sea Region. The event is organised by the Ministry of Economics of the Republic of Latvia, in cooperation with Electronic Communications Office of Latvia and with the support of the Nordic Council of Ministers, and participation of the European Commission to ensure effective collaboration of required parties to achieve maximum relevance of the hackathon’s output.

The policy and legal infrastructure improvement recommendations will be presented to the Nordic Council of Ministers, who are comprised of digital technology ministers from the Nordic states, and who will be present in Riga for their annual meeting. The recommendations will also be sent to the European Commission, as well as presented to 5G stakeholders (Baltic Sea Region country ministers and company CEOs) participating in the roundtable at the 5G Techritory Forum.

The reasoning for the hackathon stems from the problem that the legal framework is not yet in place for the successful implementation of 5G technology, as well as the solutions it will make possible. The new generation technology is expected to disrupt society, and the legal framework and infrastructure are required in order to simultaneously provide the necessary checks and balances, as well as enable innovation. 

Topics tackled will include cross-border travel issues (ex. autonomous car/drone/truck/delivery border crossing), infrastructure issues (ex. Ownership of digital solutions enabling smart cities, GDPR challenges, etc.), development and safety issues (ex. Traffic accident regulation, insurance liability, data access, etc.).

While hackathons are a common occurrence in the tech world, they are rarely applied to the realm of policy, and for the first time, will be used as a framework for developing 5G policy. 

5G is one of those technological breakthroughs that has the potential to change the way we live. We have to be responsible for creating an environment and legislation at a cross-border level that will enable new innovations and increase our economic competitiveness globally. That’s why the first-ever 5G policymakers’ hackathon will bring together the key representatives from all Baltic Sea Region countries to create common recommendations for policymakers, to help them to prepare better legislation for the possibilities that 5G technologies will create, and to establish the region as leaders in 5G innovation.

– Ralfs Nemiro, Minister of Economics of the Republic of Latvia

The hackathon will ensure the support of various mentors and support personnel, including Ernests Stals, the co-founder of TechHub Riga to ensure the innovative nature of the event, mentors from the European Commission to provide guidance in European policymaking questions, law firms for legal advisory, LMT (Latvian Mobile Telephone) for technological infrastructure questions, and from European Ministries of Justice for guidance in GDPR topics. 

The organisers have opened a call for submissions for foreseeable issues and roadblocks in 5G policy, which the hackathon teams can then select to work on during the hackathon. Submissions can be submitted by filling out the feasibility survey here: