Bulgaria's First Ever Agri Tech Hackathon to Bring Together Farmers and IT Nerds to Seek Innovative Solutions
104 ECONOMY - AGRI-TECH HACKATON
Bulgaria's First Ever Agri Tech Hackathon to
Bring Together Farmers and IT Nerds
to Seek Innovative Solutions
September 7 (BTA) - In mid-September, the northeastern village of Izgrev will host Bulgaria's first ever Agri Tech Hack. It is a forum on the crossroads of agriculture and technology, where key representatives from the rich Bulgarian tech ecosystem will meet people from the world of agriculture to collaborate in addressing pressing agricultural challenges and create business opportunities.
The hackathon is a joint effort between the Nik Academy, the Embassy of the Netherlands in Bulgaria, FarmHackNL and AgroHubBG.
The organizers will use the forum to match data scientists, app developers and other IT nerds, on the one hand, with farmers, scientists, agribusiness people, government and advisory services, on the other. The purpose is to create awareness and understanding among farmers and people in agriculture of the existing hi-tech opportunities that can help them address the challenges they face.
Some teams will be formed on the spot from among the individually registered participants. Others will come to the hackathon in pre-formed farmer-IT teams.
During the 28-hour event, old and new teams will be supported through the process of developing real project proposals by experienced mentors for each hackathon topic (called "challenge").
The best project will receive a cash prize of 10,000 euro provided by SmartAgriHub. It is recommended - but not mandatory - that the winning team use it to further develop their project or product. At a later stage, the winning team will have the opportunity to pitch their idea at Wageningen University Life Science Farm Hack in the Netherlands.
The organizers of Agri Tech Hack hope that showcasing the opportunities for synergism in agriculture and the ICT sector will increase interest in the field of agriculture as an opportunity for professional development.
The focus areas for the hackathon were chosen carefully by considering the potential in the Bulgarian high-tech sector and the challenges in agriculture, said the organizers. They thus identified four areas: beekeeping technologies; IOT automation (applications to assist farmers with the right time to carry out the various field operations; basic crops and the most appropriate time for their cultivation; monitoring of dams in agricultural territories and prevention of overflow, etc); machine data (IOT mapping, agricultural technology data analysis, tracking, etc.); AI and robotics.
The event will rely on the expertise and the experience of FarmHack.NL - a Dutch organization which aims to be a catalyst for solutions and innovations in the agricultural and farming sector. FarmHack.NL mobilizes coders, developers, creatives and domain experts to tackle IT challenges that farmers are facing.
Arie Veldhuizen, Agricultural Counselor of the Netherlands, told BTA that in his country such hackathons are often conducted in different sectors of the economy and production. Over the years, these kinds of events have proven to be extremely effective, and the solutions developed in their course often find an application in the real world, he said, adding that the AgriTechHack in Bulgaria is a logical continuation of the partnership between the Netherlands and Bulgaria in the sphere of innovations and transfer of knowledge.
Agri Tech Hack will be held on September 13 and 14 at the NIK Academy' base in the northeastern village of Izgrev. LN/