For the first time in history, a 2-month online international hackathon HACK AgriFood'20 is being organized. HACK AgriFood'20 is aimed at helping the agriculture and food sectors to overcome ongoing problems and to address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis. After the hackathon, its participants will be able to sell their MVP stage targeted solutions to the challenge owners - AgriFood sector companies. Currently, different companies from all over Europe have already submitted nine challenges in four main categories: Local Food Supply Networks, Utilizing Production Side-Streams, Smart Food Packaging and Solving Last Mile Delivery.
When asked to express his opinion about HACK AgriFood'20 and its prospects, one of the pioneers in the European Digital Innovation Hubs ecosystem and internationally recognized agri-food expert, Grigoris Chatzikostas, said that COVID-19 tested the resilience of our food systems but it also accelerated the adoption of game-changing technologies. HACK AgriFood’20 is a co-creation space where startups, farmers and food producers can come up with practical solutions for tackling major challenges imposed by the pandemic. It gives the Lithuanian and European ecosystem a push to move faster, without leaving anyone behind, in order to emerge stronger from the crisis.
Gintas Kimtys, the head of the Lithuanian Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA), has emphasized that events like HACK AgriFood'20 and International AgriBusiness Forum in Vilnius, which will close the hackathon, show Lithuania's ambitions and potential to become a testing ground for agri-food digital innovations in Europe.
HACK Agrifood’20 has already received support from both international and local communities. The hackathon is sponsored by many influential partners, such as the SMART AgriHubs consortium, which unites 164 partners all over Europe, the Lithuanian Science, Innovation and Technology Agency and others. Kristina Šermukšnytė-Alešiūnienė, the head of AgtiFood Lithuania DIH, which is organizing the event, has emphasized that the biggest advantages of this hackathon are the duration and the fact that teams will solve real challenges and will have to provide real solutions at the MVP stage. According to AgriFood Lithuania DIH experts, it is very likely that at least some of the solutions provided by the teams will be purchased and commercialized.
Registration of teams and individuals willing to participate in the international online hackathon HACK Agrifood’20 has already started and will end on October 6. Everybody willing to address the challenges proposed by AgriFood sector companies can register at www.hackagrifood.lt.