On 16 and 17 February 2018, the Open Food Data Hackdays were held in the Old Market Hall of Basel. The objective of the event was to tackle and solve various challenges in the food industry with the help of open data.
Participants had the chance to present their ideas and persuade others to join their team. This created some hugely diverse groups, who together conceived innovative solutions for their respective challenges over the course of two days. Overall, 45 participants worked on suitable solutions in seven teams. To round off the Open Food Data Hackdays, the team presented their results to the assembled audience.
The final results ranged from a personal virtual nutritional advisor to a mobile app that enables students to learn about native plants in a game-based way. There was also a mock-up for an interactive communication platform for nutritional advisors and their patients.
A further outcome was a solution to help restaurant owners in their planning: based on various different data, predictions can be made as to whether guests will visit a restaurant. The weather, past reservations and the respective day of the week form the basis for the projection, which in turn allows them to adapt purchasing accordingly, plan staffing needs, avoid food waste and subsequently improve efficiency and raise profits.
Innovation through open data
The virtual nutritional advisor ZOE offers users information about what users should eat and where based on their preferences, activities and location. This makes it possible to have a healthy diet in everyday life without any great effort. In addition, a central database was developed for farmers and their customers in the region to make trading more efficient and transparent. Another identified challenge was that children know very little about native plants. The solution was a teaching app for smartphones: children are assigned a mission to find and photograph different plants. The app can tell them whether they have found the right plant. The more photos the app assesses, the better the recognition rate by means of AI.
The Hackathon was jointly organised by OpenData.ch and BaselArea.swiss. Opendata.ch is an association dedicated to making data public and freely available, as the disclosure of such data will bring about greater transparency, innovation and efficiency.
In collaboration with Engagement Migros, OpenData.ch launched the “Business Innovation food.opendata.ch” programme, which aims to establish a public database, create new innovative food solutions and encourage the use of open food data for new business purposes. The Open Food Data Hackdays are part of this programme.
The full results can be found at: https://hack.opendata.ch/event/18