Door Elke Sauter
Agri Tech Hack in Bulgaria
Scroll your google map to the east, stop at the Black Sea and then to the south! Join us on a journey to a rural village in Bulgaria, Izgrev. As part of the 2019 Bulgarian agenda, one of the activities is an Agri Tech Hackathon! This will be the first event of its kind in the country. Bulgaria is quite recognized for its buzzing tech scene, but hardly ever these techies find their way to the farm. Now we are calling on them! In a collaboration of several partners we are on a quest to create an opportunity for building tech and data driven solutions for the agriculture sector.
The AgriTechHack was organized by Nik Academy on September 13.14 2019. This event is supported by the Dutch Embassy, FarmHack.NL , and the local Digital Innovation Hub AgroHub.BG . What’s more, the hackathon has now received a region-wide importance as it will be one of the showcase events for the European project Smart Agri Hubs (SAH). SAH will provide 10,000 Euros worth of prize money as they intend to expand their innovation network with the ideas / people sourced from the hackathon.
The time has come for some pan European hacking !! At the Agri Tech Hack you will meet an international crowd, with representatives from both local and international tech communities, entrepreneurs and startups. Together with domain experts we will deep dive the Agri-Food sector, bridge the worlds of agri and tech and create a better understanding and more trust on the side of farmers.
Agri Tech Hack 2019 at Nik Academy
The Agri Tech Hack is a 28-hour event. The main goals of the hackathon are:
- To attract Bulgarian tech communities to interesting agriculture use cases for technologies such as Robotics, IoT, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence.
- For (young) farmers and agronomists this is an opportunity to get awareness and trust around the emerging technologies and attract them to a field which will often be linked to tech initiatives.
- To mobilize high potential / aspiring tech students, entrepreneurs and start-ups and support them by access to relevant data and expertise, and connect them to leading stakeholders in agriculture.
- For agribusiness, the hackathon will also offer direct, agile and nimble contact with creative tech talent.
The hackathon will be featuring 4 challenges:
- Beekeeping technologies
- IOT automation
- Machine Data
- AI and Robotics
Each challenge will be accompanied by recognized mentors and leading domain experts to help the teams find specific focus points compelling datasets within the topic. This post is meant as an introduction and context to the first Agri Tech Bulgarian Hackathon, next post will dive into the challenge details, juicy datasets and stimulating mentors!
To stay tuned you can either follow us in a dedicated section of the FarmHack Forum ( link ), where you can follow our progress and join the discussion with organizers and participants. Or you can go directly to the registration page on the NIK Academy website.
The event is brought to you by the following partners:
Nik Academy is a training center in the village of Izgrev, Bulgaria facilitating knowledge exchange for farmers in precision agriculture. It also has a far-reaching role of being a communicator of the technological advances in the agri sector for their farmer audience. As a result, the training center delivers highly qualified staff who translate into better results in the farm. The training courses are meant for new employees, as refreshers for engineers or as qualification boosters for operational managers.
The Dutch doing in Bulgaria
The Dutch Embassy in Bulgaria offers business development and matchmaking opportunities between the agri business communities and markets of both countries. Dutch parties can provide a wide knowledge offering in terms of precision agriculture, recommendations for scale-up and intensification of farming practices. The creation of Holland Dairy House and Holland Horticulture House in Romania are examples of these children or partnerships at work.
We as Farmhack.NL ? are providing organizational support to Realize this hackathon with our data igniting and tech-driven open online / offline collaboration capabilities!
Digital Innovation Hubs are support organizations that aim to make businesses more competitive by speeding up development and uptake of digital innovations. They provide these services close to the end users and cater to the needs of agricultural producers and food processors in a specific region.
AgroHub.BG is the local Bulgarian Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) for agriculture. It provides knowledge resources, finance opportunities, testing and validation labs and connections within and for the agricultural community in the country. It also aims to bring this sector closer to technology and further enhancing the digital security of the agri-food chain.
Smart Agri Hubs (SAH)
Smart Agri Hubs is a European-wide project aiming to realize the digitization of EU agriculture by creating an innovation ecosystem. Work Package 2 of the Smart Agri Hubs program on network expansion by open calls, which will run in 2020. The objective is to support and empower regional initiatives and grow them into impactful Innovation Experiments, through the open calls and by mobilizing additional capacity through regional funds (both private and public).
Work Package 2 will financially back the Agri Tech Hack by allocating € 10,000 in prize money. This financial support comes with the motivation that the hack teams can work towards the open calls with their ideas to form new Digital Innovation Hubs or new Flagship Innovation Experiments. This process will be done following some specified requirements and in guidance with the existing DIH AgroHub.BG.
This much for the who is who. Next post we will elaborate on the challenges and mentors. Mark your calendars! Destination Izgrev!