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Seeds&Chips: Let’s hack food waste together!

The second edition of Agrogeneration opened with “HackWaste Hackathon”, the event lasted two days (8th – 9th May) and involved 60 students who came  from the far reaches of  Italy. The students were gathered to generate innovative solutions to fight  waste within the agro-food chain.

The event was kicked off by charismatic storyteller Nick Difino. The event was supported greatly  by the MIUR and by the MIPAAF for ‘Agrogeneration’, which is a initiative of CREA (Agriculture Research Council and Economy Analysis). CREA was also one of the most important Italian research organization devoted to agro-food, at the international summit on food innovation “Seeds & Chips“.

Eight teams competed against each other in the hack-waste challenge, it was soon clear to see that it was a great way  for the institutions and companies taking part to let talent grow and see themselves push  the limits. Especially as they were experimenting in a non-corporateenvironment. For the Future Food Institute it was the ninth Hackathon in three years and this was the second Hackathon  to take place  inside ‘Agrogeneration’ with CREA  and MIPAAF. The last Hackathon  was in July 2016 in Catania.

There were three teams who won the Hackathon and the first place went to Long Lasting Food, a project which strives to reduce the rate at which fruit and vegetables decay, their idea was to  use  biodegradable packaging which has a lid  that  sprays and  increases the amount of non-pathogenic bacteria. The bacteria increases the production of nitrogen which prevents the formation of mold.

The three winning teams have been invited to participate in the G7 of Agriculture, in Bergamo, in October. The event allows other  young people from around  the world to talk about new models of agriculture production and food consumption.

After seeing the speech of former President Barack Obama the students returned to the Agora of innovation, for the price giving  of the Hackathon. The minister of Education, Universities and Research, Valeria Fedeli, awarded the winners, and said: “Barack Obama talked during his speech about the importance of sustainability and  reducing  food waste. This is a path we already took, thanks to events like  hack-waste, this event endeavours  to generate  innovative solutions and ideas from young aware people.”

“President Obama prompts us to take action – said the Minister of Agricolture, Mauirzio Martina – because hunger and malnutrition are created by  humans, so humans should  solve these problems. That is why it is essential to raise awareness among the new generations. It is possible teach proper food culture  inside of the school environment  and the Hackathon format is proof of this. At the Milan Expo we created a no-hunger generation, committed to building a world where people produce more and use less, a sustainable world and zero waste. Agrogeneration took on the hack-waste  challenge in an extraordinary way and now we are waiting to see  these young talents in Bergamo for the G7 of agriculture.”

It is not only research, but comparison, collation  and openness which are the ingredients to gather the opportunities and innovative ideas that  new generations can offer to the agri-food world. With this kind of  spirit  CREA presents some new initiatives on environmental sustainability, food security and food waste reduction, offering them the curiosity of young innovators of the food sector. ‘We propose – Salvatore Parlato, President of CREA , says – the scheme that we used last year with Agrogeneration, where the enthusiasm of young people is fused with the commitment of research, and vice versa, developing an ideal alchemy for disseminating innovation in agriculture’.