Hack-marathon at the farm

Published on
September 14, 2016

Swine Innovation Centre welcomes ‘hackers’

On July the 8th and 9th at the Swine Innovation Centre (SIC) Sterksel the first farm hack on a pig farm took place. In a 36 hours during marathon ‘Hackers’ from various sections were working together with researchers, sector specialists and some pig farmers on smart solutions to problems in pig farming. For example, "how can I see the actual performance of my business out of my office?" Or, "how can we shorten the distance to the consumer?". A feature of the solutions was applying existing and new digital technologies from other sectors.

The winner: team Time tracking!

The winning team designed a working prototype of an application that communicates with beacons and  can estimate the time someone is working in a specified section. The app keeps track of the activities carried out on the day and how long, so you can see at the end of the day how much time you have spent on different activities. With this app farmers can optimize their workflow and this possibly compare. The solution makes it possible to do "time tracking" without adding much extra work, and labour efficiency. The team showed convincingly that beacons are used very easy and flexible, and have a compelling use case. Commitment for follow up is having tested the app at SIC Sterksel. The winning team will be guided in the further development and market introduction, which they attend a boot camp in late August. Sterksel is hereby also provided.

Positive hackers

The word "hacker" will be given a positive tone. The group consisted of a mix of ICT specialists, staff of creative engineers, landscape architects and people from the automotive industry. In other words experts through the legal way every day are engaged in (remote) connection of systems and data. In a very short time they were able to develop or enter new data., the organizer of the hack-marathon, had a specially designed platform with all available digital technology. In addition, SIC made 40 years of individual animal data available, which gives a lot of information.

Win-win situation

Why are these people 36 hours available to work on solutions to other people's problems? Are they do-gooders or idealists? Or people who also see business opportunities? Because in developing a useful app or other digital product for the pig sector there is indeed a market prospect. And this creates a win-win situation. There can occur a lot in 36 hours with a common interest. The employees of SIC are excited about the delivered solutions and hope to continue some of the work within the “Experimental Field” at SIC Sterksel.