Challenges are the cornerstones of open innovation

We gather around challenges that address the Sustainable Development Goals as defined by the UN in the Agenda 2030. The challenges are sourced from the crowd and you are welcome to suggest a challenge for the hackers to work on. Deadline for submitting a challenge is 15th of February. We will publish challenges as we go!

The Food Hack Challenges

Challenge #1

Challenge: Farmed Blue Mussels from the Baltic Sea
Sender: Lena Tasse
Project: Baltic Blue Growth

Challenge: Mussel farming can decrease nutrient content in sea water and provide ecosystem services in the Baltic Sea – but how can the harvested farmed mussels be used and commercialized?

Blue mussels have great potential as a sustainable source of high-value protein and marine omega-3 fatty acids. Though the shells are fragile and the mussels are small, so consumers tend to prefer the larger mussels from the west coast. Consequently, this valuable resource is used for biogas or soil improvement. The ideal situation is scaled up farming of blue mussels in order to improve water quality of the Baltic Sea while making use of the harvested mussels for human consumption.


Challenge #3

Challenge: Saving food with innovative freezing techniques
Sender: Box’d Fruits

Challenge: One of the biggest contributors to the global CO2-emissions is the food industry, still one third of the food produced is wasted before it reaches the table. In Europe alone, that corresponds to 50 000 000 ton of fruits and vegetables. There’s a need for innovative solutions that tackle the food waste issue. Can innovative freezing techniques be the answer?

We are a startup who loves food and deeply cares about the environment. By merging these emotions we set out on a mission to decrease food waste, focusing on fruits and vegetables. To do this we source fresh fruits and vegetables with short shelf life, refine the produce and add value that matches a customer need by using innovative freezing techniques that sustain its nutrition and extend its life. Our first product, a frozen banana puree, is in the process to be launched on the market.

To be able to save as much food waste on a local, national and global level we are searching for new innovative products. We ask you to join us and explore customer needs, new ways to refine fruits and vegetables with short shelf life with the aim to innovate frozen products for the consumer and B2B market.

Challenge #2

Challenge: Business Models for reclaiming contaminated soil
Sender: Henrik Haller PhD – Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Buildning Engineering at Mid Sweden University

Challenge: Today many poor farmers work on or close to contaminated land with great negative effects on their health. Research has found ways of cleaning the soil but experience has shown that farmers can’t afford to make the investment needed as the ROI is long term and partly collective. How can we create a sustainable business model that allows for contaminated lands to be cleaned?

Currently, agriculture is responsible for almost 25% of all greenhouse gas emission as well as many other negative impacts. In order to end hunger in all its forms by 2030, food production needs to increase without intruding on other SDGs. Innovative ways of growing, sharing and consuming food are thus necessary and one way to produce more food while achieving a healthier planet is to reclaim marginal contaminated land for food production.

By developing agroforestry systems on such contaminated areas with selected plants that can accumulate/degrade the contaminants but exclude it from the edible part, safe food can be produced at the same time as the soil is cleaned and atmospheric carbon dioxide is captured while creating better labour standards and lowring risk for farmers in development countries.

Experiences from remediation programs have shown that the societal costs of inaction are great but benefits (in terms of increased health, property values, poverty reduction etc.) from remediation projects are considerable. The problem is that those benefits are collective and not immediate enough to convince poor farmers to adapt bioremediation technologies.

About Challenges

Challenges are what we call the problem that hackers work on. During the first part of the hack, all challenges are presented on stage. All hackers are present during the presentations eager to hear something that makes their hearts leap. After the presentation, teams are formed and the hacking can begin. On Sunday the teams present their work to the audience and the jury. In other words, the challenges are super important cornerstones of the hack. 

Guidelines and FAQs

Can I suggest a challenge?
You are welcome to suggest a challenge, but the slots are limited. We are sourcing challenges from students, scientists, businesses, NGOs and so forth.

I’m already working on something – can I bring it to the hack?
The challenge can’t be an ongoing business venture however an ongoing business venture can present a specific challenge that they want to open up publicly. 

Any specific challenges you are looking for?
This year all challenges are to be within the main theme ”A Healthier Planet”. Food is focus and we would love it if you address one or more of the SDGs (Sustainable development goals)

Do I have to attend the hack if my challenge is accepted?
As a challenge contributor you are responsible for making a live presentation. Preferably you attend the pitching event on Friday afternoon but it’s also possible to do the presentation pre recorded.

How should I present the challenge?
The time limit is 3 minutes + 2 minutes of questions. Slides are a good way of making challenges more tangible. If your challenge is accepted we will help you put it into words.

Please contact us if you wish to suggest a challenge!

phone: +46702514019

We are excited to hear your challenge, please fill in the form. Keep it short, you will get the chance to explain further in the next step of the process.

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