Ontario’s first ever AgriTech Hackathon, organized by the Town of Lincoln and Spark Niagara, took place on October 18th – 20th in Beamsville, bringing together agricultural experts and technological innovators for a hackathon geared towards solving issues facing Niagara’s agricultural industry.
The goal was to create a one-of-a-kind event that targeted some of the major challenges of the agricultural and ecotourism sectors. The challenges the participants hacked centered around:
- Production and Environment
- Pest and Diseases
- Ecotourism and Sustainability
- Soil Erosion and Depletion
The Hackathon drew 15 teams from across southern Ontario with a diverse range of educational backgrounds and ages, alongside agri-business professionals. A key aim of the event was to leverage a conversation between businesses, educational institutions, technology and the community about the importance of these sectors to both the local and regional economy.
Divided into two categories, youth and post-secondary, teams and their ideas were evaluated on their potential to address vital challenges such as labour shortages and resource management. Winners in the youth category (elementary to high school) focused on ideas like vertical growing, and reusing irrigation water, while winners in the post-secondary/professional category explored concepts around apps for ecotourism, sustainability and infrastructure. Some of the winning ideas will be further developed into tangible solutions that will support industry and economic growth in the region.
The AgriTech Hackathon not only helped to solve local challenges, but also sparked conversation and connection between the rural and urban community. This annual event will aim to continue to provide innovative and sustainable solutions for Niagara’s agricultural future.
Learn more about the AgriTech Hackathon