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Hackathon of the "Next-Gen RetAIl" Chair to rethink e-commerce

The annual hackathon of the "Next-Gen RetAIl" Chair allows students to set up projects in response to current issues. For its third edition, the participants rethought, with the help of experts to guide them during several work sessions, "the new environmentally friendly e-commerce experience".

For its third edition, the annual hackathon of the "Next-Gen RetAIl" Chair welcomed two teams for a more in-depth challenge than the previous ones. The hackathon lasted from 21 January to 11 February thanks to this chair, which is headed by Eric Moulines, a researcher at the Centre for Applied Mathematics (CMAP*). For three weeks, students from HEC and the École Polytechnique imagined "the new environmentally friendly e-commerce experience".

After a kick-off presented by Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, the former director of e-commerce for the Carrefour Group, the ten participants, who came from the École Polytechnique engineering programme, the X-HEC master's degree in data science and the HEC master's degree in sustainable development, were coached by more than a dozen experts from Carrefour and Artefact, a French consulting group.  Three workshop sessions were held to develop and test the students' projects, which benefited from the coaches' expertise in data, customer experience and supply chain management.

This close follow-up allowed them to develop innovative solutions based on precise business and environmental components and data processing algorithms, which take into account the specific business constraints of the retail sector, such as respecting the cold chain or the logic of grouping deliveries.  

After testing their projects with users, the students presented their results to a jury comprising Elodie Perthuisot, Director of Data, E-commerce and Digital Transformation at Carrefour Group, and Bertrand Swiderski, CSR Director at Carrefour Group. The jurors then divided €5,000 between the teams according to the contributions of their projects. The winning group of students will now work with the sponsor to implement the innovative solution they came up with during the hackathon.

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*CMAP: a joint research unit CNRS, École Polytechnique - Institut Polytechnique de Paris