The GROW agri-hackathon is being run by Agri-Tech East and supported by Barclay’s Eagle Labs and BASF.
It aims to bring together teams of smart thinkers with various backgrounds and skill sets to look at some of agriculture’s biggest challenges from a fresh perspective.
As before, we’ll be welcoming people from all disciplines, including software developers, electronics engineers, plant and animal biologists, physicists, farmers, vets, and industry professionals to get together and tackle the issues. We’ll be providing access to hardware and data for teams to make use of over the weekend.
The weekend will work as follows:
- Friday 5th July – An evening reception for participants to network and enable team creation for individuals (optional).
- Saturday 6th July – industry experts will frame the challenges and participants will form teams and choose their challenge. Resources such as data and specialist equipment are being volunteered by Agri-Tech East members
- Sunday 7th July – the day will culminate in pitches of the resulting ideas, judged by a panel of experts.
The challenges are still being developed but the broad themes include:
- Maximising soil productivity – how can we improve soil health, ensure a healthy soil structure and maximise nutrition whilst minimising soil loss? There are benefits in soil management techniques such as soil rotation and precision application, among others.
- Improving water use efficiency – how can water management be improved through means such as smart irrigation practices, and are there effective and sustainable means of improving soil’s ability to hold water?
- Reducing greenhouse gases – intensive livestock rearing is contributing to methane production, whilst degradation of peat soils and other carbon sinks have reduced opportunities to sequester carbon, but there could be opportunities to create other carbon sinks and manage methane emissions.
- Boosting biodiversity – there is increasing pressure worldwide on biodiversity from a range of sources. We need to find ways to protect important habitats, and find smart ways to support biodiversity under pressure by providing targeted resources.