The Institute of Applied Science and Technology under the College of Basic and Applied Sciences organised its Student Innovation Challenge dubbed University of Ghana (UG) Hackathon 2019. The 2019 Hackathon was organised with sponsorship from GIZ and targeted at the demand of the Market Oriented Agriculture Programme (MOAP) of GIZ. The goal of the challenge was to assemble technology enthusiasts (students and non-students) to display their innovative ideas to create a sustainable IT solution for Traceability in the Food Value Chain.

 A group picture of participants and organizers on the second day of the event

The final events which started with camping of contesting teams from the 25th throughout the night to the final pitching on the 26th of October 2019 at the J.H. Nketia Conference room (Institute of African Studies). The Contesting teams, which were made up of 14 teams (47 members) were shortlisted from the Twenty-nine (29) teams that responded to the initial call for the competition.

In his opening address, the Director of the Institute of Applied Science and Technology, Prof. George Oduro Nkansah informed contestants that the Institute organizes such challenges to unearth innovativeness, creativity and entrepreneurial skills among students and further expressed his gratitude to GIZ for financially supporting the Institute to organise the 2019 edition of the Challenge dubbed “UG Hackathon 2019”.

         Prof. George O. Nkansah, Director of IAST, during the welcome address

 Mr. Tek Au in his presentation on traceability stated that Ghanaian vegetable and fruit exporters were facing two interlinked challenges which had resulted in the inability to meet international standards to ensure the exportations of quality and safe foods   into international markets and the inability to trace non-complaint goods back to the source. Consequently, the challenge was organized to find an IT-based traceability solution to curb exportation challenges as well as allow exporters trace back non-complaint goods to the source.

                                      Mr. Tek Au of GIZ

Dr. Emmanuel Essien, a lecturer at the Agricultural Engineering department of the University of Ghana, educated participants on good presentation skills. He informed the contestants to remain focused in order to meet the expectations of the judges and audience as they work to find solutions to the task set for the Hackathon. 

                      Dr. Emmanuel Essien 

After the opening and presentations to commence the second day of the competition, the panel of judges who were drawn from Academia, and Industry were introduced as follows:

1. Mr. Tsonam Cleanse Akpeloo (Accra Regional Chairman -Association of Ghana Industries)

2. Dr. Kofi Henaku (CEO – Henson Geodata Technologies Limited)

3. Mr. Wenceslav Atieku (Head of Software Development section- Henson Geodata Technologies Limited)

4. Mr. Kwesi Wih (Deputy Director - Ghana Seed Inspection & Certification Division, PPRSD,Ministry of Food and Agriculture)

5. Nene Nagetey (Database developer – IT department, Ghana Standards Authority)

6. Mr. Tek Au - GIZ

7. Dr. Henry Ofosuhene Sintim (Research Fellow – IAST -University of Ghana)

8.  Dr. Emmanuel Essien (Lecturer – Dept. of Agricultural Engineering - University of Ghana)

Before the commencement of the pitching, Dr. Henry Ofosuhene Sintim presented the guidelines of the Hackathon pitching process to the contestants. He informed contestants of the time allocated to them to present their concepts with prototype evidence after which they would be queried by the Judges.

                                        Dr. Henry Ofosuhene Sintim

After this, all 14 Teams, Dahawilsam, Grey Sphere, Tracepro, Yison tech Hub, Think Different, Step-Up, Hackfoods Gh, Eagles Eye, Plank Inc, Foodbank, CodeX Team KAPA and GT Geeks pitched to present their solutions on food traceability. All members of contesting teams were awarded with certificates for participating which was presented by the Prof. George Oduro Nkansah, Director of the Institute of Applied Science and Technology and Dr. Matilda Laar of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. 

Pictures of some teams during their presentations

After the collation of results by the Judges, the Eagle Eyes team was declared the second runner-up with 69.6 points.  Each member of the group was presented with plagues and an external hard drive.  The presentation was done by Mr. Kwesi Wih, representative from the Plant Protection Regulatory Services Directorate (PPRSD), Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA).

 Team Eagle Eyes receiving their price for coming at the 2nd runner-up position

 The first runner-up position went to Team Grey Sphere who scored 73.8 points and they were awarded with plagues and mobile phones.  The Award for the first runner up was sponsored by ENGEN Ghana Limited and, was presented by Mr. Tsonam Cleanse Akpeloo, the Greater Accra Regional Chairman for Association of Ghana Industries (AGI).

   Mr. Tsonam Akpeloo presenting the first runner-up award to Team Grey Sphere

The winner of the UG Hackathon 2019 was Team Yison Tech Hub from Wa. They won the contest with 73.9 points and each team member received a plague, a mobile phone and a sponsored trip outside Ghana.  Mr. Tek Au presented the award on behalf of GIZ.

    Team Yison Tech Hub, winner of the UG Hackathon 2019, with their prize