Athens Green Hackathon 2013

Athens Green Hackathon 2013 was the second in a series of events where hackers and developers together with domain experts and data scientists met to create and apply new ideas, targeting a sustainable and healthier future. One of the main goals of the Green Hackathon was to showcase the potential of Open Data and APIs that make access to environmental, agricultural and biodiversity data easier.

Athens Green Hackathon 2013, following the format of the previous event, included a specific process for the elaboration of the applications/hacks that were developed. This process was problem-driven and it’s basic steps are described below:
1. Hacking equation set forth in the beginning (Data + Need = Hack)
2. Rapid talks from invited Data Users and Data Owners of environmental data sets
3. Interview with invited experts/users within the groups of participating hackers
4. Data collection & analysis
5. Brainstorming on specific solutions to the hacking equation set forth
6. Selection of hacks that solve the equation and will be moved forward

This time, the brainstorming began a little bit earlier, during an Intro Course, where the participants were asked to identify data sources/ types that might be useful for two greek companies, APIVITA and Stevia Hellas, and come up with ideas for data products that could be included in their websites.

The input received, was then used in the Athens Green Hackathon 2013, aiming to help the participants brainstorm on the data sources and data products for APIVITA’s and Stevia Hellas’ websites, discuss these ideas with the companies’ representatives or come up with completely different ones.

Hack Challenges
Athens Green Hackathon 2013, aimed to develop hacks that will address real needs. Having this in mind, the two challenges set in the beginning of the events, were the following:
– “How might we create an application for APIVITA’s website, where users can find multilingual educational material?”
– “How might we develop an application for Stevia Hellas’ website, where users can get access to accurate bibliographic resources?”

Rapid Talks
The rapid speakers selected for the Athens Green Hackathon 2013, were inspired individuals with deep knowledge of their domain and a special communication ability that allows them to inspire and motivate their audience. More specifically, due to the fact that in this year’s event, the challenges set had to do with two widely known companies in their field, the invited speakers represented both of them. Thus, Mr Anagnosti John Choukalas (New Business Development Director, APIVITA) helped the participants get to know APIVITA Company better, whereas Mr. Christos Stamatis (CEO, Stevia Coop) told really interesting things about Stevia Cooperation.

Once the inspiring talks were completed, each of the two speakers was allocated to the respective team as an interviewee. Two members of the Athens Green Hackathon 2013 served as facilitators and the discussion began.

Facilitator: Angeliki Papageorgiou
Interviewee: Anagnosti John Choukalas

Stevia Team
Facilitator: Charalampos Thanopoulos
Interviewee: Christos Stamatis

Data Collection & Analysis
In this year’s event, the data collection and analysis phase took place during the Course: “Introduction to Data Science for Agriculture”. All the notes taken, were summarized once again after the interview, giving the participants the chance to add any new thoughts.

During this phase, the participants were reminded of the hacking equation set forth in the beginning of the event (data + need = hack), so as to come up with hack ideas aiming to solve this equation. Each of them was asked to contribute his own notes taken during the interview and explain them to the rest of the group so as to initiate a discussion.

Having completed the brainstorming session, all the notes were clustered based on their common themes, and the following clusters came up:
Producers Communities: Forums where producers could exchange opinions about the raw materials used by APIVITA
Consumers Communities: Forums where consumers can get engaged around topics that interest them and connect with others having similar interests and of course with APIVITA itself
Learning Resources: Learning resources to be utilized in order to help consumers and producers get to know APIVITA’s products better
Social Data: Social Media & Blogs, where customers could exchange opinions and rate APIVITA’s products
Location Based Data: Information on the traceability of compounds/ products
Supply Chain: Supply chain info on ingredients, suppliers, price and quality

Stevia Team
Graphs: Recipies’ graphs, manufacturers’ graph, datasets with recipies, graph of products with similar benefits
Marketing Analysis: Price and market analysis, statistical data, identify possible revenues by marketing statistical data
Separate Customer and Farmer Website: Develop two different interfaces, so as to attract more customers and farmers
Word Analysis: Focus on diseases that can be healed with the use of stevia, word image with diseases and stuff (visitors)
Show the Process: Show in detail the process followed to make stevia products
Sensor data analysis: Sensor data to give personalized instructions, so as to help farmers with the stevia production
Map indicating stevia appropriate areas: Map with appropriate areas to cultivate stevia
Games: Develop games demonstrating stevia’s benefits
Social: Community Driven APP/ Game, Create Communities of Producers & Customers where they could exchange opinions about stevia products and raw materials

Each of the teams, chose one or more of the clusters to follow and started “building” their hacks.

The panel of experts that evaluated the presented hacks, consisted of prominent professionals in their field:
– Theodoros Karounos, Chairperson, Greek Free / Open Source Software Society (GFOSS)
– Yiannis Giannarakis, General Manager, Hellenic Association of Mobile Application Companies (HAMAC)
– Pythagoras Karampiperis, Researcher, Institute of Informatics & Telecommunications, N.C.S.R. Demokritos (IIT)
– Nikolaos Marianos, Project Manager, Agro-Know Technologies (AK)

The winning teams were:
SemaGrow Prize: Stevia Toolkit (Giorgos Panagopoulos, Dimitris Papavasiliou, Dimitris Proios)
Second Prize: BeeNET (Carlos Villavicencio, Nikolaos Vorniotakis, Panagiota Papageorgiou, Katerina Zervou, Vladimir Slavnic)

Athens Green Hackathon 2013 was co-organized by Agro-Know Technologies, the Institute of Informatics & Telecommunications of the NCSR Demokritos and the coLab Workspace and was hosted at various venues around Athens, aiming to connect all Athenians. This year, the open call for participation addressed also researchers in the fields of statistics, mathematics, physics, chemistry and agriculture, as well as experts in artificial intelligence, apart from the hackers and developers that were already invited to attend the event. The events were funded by the European research projects agINFRA (“A data infrastructure for agriculture”), SemaGrow (“Data Intensive Techniques to Boost the Real-Time Performance of Global Agriculture Data Infrastructures”) and Organic Lingua (“Demonstrating the potential of multilingual Web Portal for Sustainable Agricultural & Environmental Education”) under the 7th Framework Programme and the ICT PSP Programme of the European Union.

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