WUR Life Sciences Hack

17 07 2019

Door Anne Bruinsma

Anne Bruinsma
Founder FarmHackNL, gericht op open innovatie en praktijktische en verrassende toepassingen van data en technologie in de landbouw.

WUR Life Sciences Hack

The very first WUR Life Sciences Hack will take place on the 25th and 26th of October! A 32 hours hackathon to ignite data- and tech-driven collaborations between students, tech entrepreneurs, researchers and domain experts. The purpose of the hackathon is to have creative (tech) talent from different universities and young professionals work on targeted challenges side by side with representatives of leading Dutch agri businesses.

We are looking for highly motivated creative people that are looking for new and exciting learning opportunities. Participants should either have domain knowledge (life sciences) or data/IT skills. Individuals as well as groups can register. For registration click here.  In this blogpost some background info. More information will follow soon!



It will be a select and targeted event: 4 challenges, 4 teams, high quality support, mentoring, peer to peer learning and your chance to compete for prize money and Smart Agri Hubs support. A unique opportunity, for the brightest and most creative talent at Wageningen University and beyond! The hackathon will be part of the pan European Smart Agri Hubs Program.

Each team will consist of:

  • 2 representatives of the company (a software engineer and a business developer)
  • 3 to 4 students / starters (from different disciplines)
  • 1 or 2 researchers from the WUR (domain experts)
  • 1 or 2 FarmHackers (e.g. machine learning, open source expert, front-end developer, app developer, UX/UI designer)


What’s in it for you?

The hackathon offers a unique opportunity to

  • work with a structured, robust and easy-to-use database, containing exciting new datasets. The challenges are well prepared in order to allow for carefree hacking during the hackathon.
  • work on open innovation and data governance with experts. You will have access to business intelligence and real-world use cases. We offer the opportunity to work with experts, a peer-to-peer learning environment and two days to test, develop, and hone your skills while working on real life issues with experts from companies in your field.
  • to pitch your results, prototypes and visualizations, to an expert jury and win prize money and support to become part of the Smart Agri Hubs network.

Location of the hackathon: The Forum, Campus Wageningen University and Research


Sneak preview: Hackathon Program!

Day One: After good mornings and 5-star coffee, we will start with pitches to present the challenges and supporting data. The pitches are followed by a lightning talk by key note speaker to get you started. Through quick iterations you will deepdive your challenge, brainstorm, and explore.

The rest of the day is dedicated hack time within your team, only interrupted by short inspiration and facilitation sessions for idea generation, intervision and expert consultation. For refreshment we will take take you for a quick walk on Campus, or make you run up and down the Forum stairs. Need to keep sharp!

At the end of the day we will take care of some pleasant wining & dining, with plenty of time to interact, check your ideas and pitch your solutions, and get some valuable feedback and intel. After dinner we’ll be moonlight hacking! If you are feeling sleepy, you can roll out your sleeping bag!

Day Two: After an early breakfast we’ll start with pitches and intervision, backed by business development coaches, to kickstart your day. After that it is all hack time before we pitch before an expert Jury! Pitches will be followed by a short award ceremony.


You can’t wait to get started? Here are some reading tips, to get you through Summer 😉

  1. Deepdive the results of our international Big Data for Bees hackathon
  2. Explore opportunities for remote sensing by reading up on our follow up event after the Rewarding Nature hackathon
  3.  Share our take aways from the “Open Innovation in Pig Production” AgroVision hackathon by Nutreco.



The very first WUR Life Sciences hackathon is an initiative from several WUR Bachelor and Master programmes, like Biosystems Engineering and Wageningen Data Competence Center. Different partners support the initiative, such as DataLab Agrifood, Jheronimus Academy for Data Science and Food Valley’s ICT campus. The hackathon will be prepared and executed by FarmHackNL.


Good luck, enjoy and hope to see you in October!

Cheers from all of us at FarmHack!


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Results WUR Life Sciences Hack

The very first WUR Life Sciences hackathon is a wrap! This initiative aimed to have creative tech talent work on targeted challenges offered and mentored by representatives of Ag Tech companies. The hackathon was supported by the European wide Smart Agri Hubs program. Read up on the results!

Niva challenge

Modern tractors and their implements are equipped with sensors that collect data about farming operations. Can these data reduce the administrative burden for both farmers ad paying agencies?

Agri Tech Hack in Bulgaria

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! Scroll your google map to the east, stop at the Black Sea and then to the south. Join us in a rural village called Izgrev, at the Agri Tech Hackathon, the first of its kind in the country. Mark your calendars! Destination Izgrev!