Hackathons are international phenomenon


HackathonAgro 2018The winning team from the Uruguay HackathonAGRO are to join us at REAP and we are looking forward to comparing learning points.

HackathonAGRO is co-organised by the British Embassy Montevideo and took place in September at the Expo Prado 2018.

It was an open competition for researchers, entrepreneurs and experts in information technologies, agriculture and business. The other organisers are the Cámara Uruguaya de Tecnologías de la Información (CUTI), Asociación Rural del Uruguay (ARU) and Agencia Nacional de Desarrollo (ANDE).

The challenge was to develop a business model and a viable product or prototype capable of using technology to solve a defined agricultural problem.

Four challenges were presented to the participants, each team had to pick one and had 48 hours to develop a solution. They were supported by mentors and given help in the form of presentations made by experts in different areas.

The challenges were:

  1. Harness and sustainable management of natural fields for livestock production
  2. Monitoring and effective control of ticks on the livestock fields
  3. Recognition and control strategies for Capim Annoni, a silent invader
  4. Monitoring and control of movement and estate stock per paddock and field

11 teams took part in the competition.  The winners presented a solution for the control of Capim Annoni, known as the ‘tough love grass’, a grass that is a similar pest to blackgrass in the UK.

Tackling the Brazilian equivalent of blackgrass

The team composed of Emilio Sarturi, Manuel Lorenzo and Joao Antonio Martins found a way to track down Capim Annoni using a multi-spectral camera to identify it effectively, and selected appropriate equipment to remove it once found.

Each team was formed by people from different disciplines. For example, in the winning team’s case, Manuel Lorenzo studies administration and works at Tata Consultancy Services, while Emilio Sarturi works in the banking software area, and Joao Antonio Martins offers consulting services in farming administration.

Lorenzo said: “It was a learning experience, working with people from other areas opens your mind.”  Team-mate Martins said the team were confident in the viability of their solution.

Leonardo Loureiro, President of the Uruguayan Chamber of Information Technologies, mentioned that he was profoundly impressed by the overall quality of the presented proposals.

As a reward the winning team will travel to London with flight tickets and accommodation included, to share their insights with attendees at the REAP 2018 conference, and will also visit Harper Adams University, which specialises in careers linked to agronomy and technology.

We are looking forward to welcoming them to REAP.

REAP 2018

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