Agri-EPI Agricultural Technology Hackathon 2020 - Agri-EPI Centre

Agri-EPI Centre Hackathon 2020

Agri-EPI Agricultural Technology Hackathon 2020

Do you have what it takes to provide innovative and dynamic solutions that will make a real-world impact and enhance the resilience of agriculture?

Smart Agri-tech livestock farming

Do you have the skills to hack a technology that could address labour challenges brought on by Covid-19?


Agri-EPI Agricultural Technology Hackathon 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the agrifood sector in many ways. Our virtual hackathons focus on the impact lockdown restrictions and social distancing has had across Europe on mobilising the agricultural workforce and its support services. Digital and automation solutions can play a key role in enhancing resilience. Leave your mark on agricultural innovation and sign up for the Agri-EPI Agricultural Technology Hackathon 2020.

Information Package Hackathon

Challenge #1: Digital diagnosis

Problem: Reduced mobility of vets to conduct farm diagnosis and prescription

The Covid-19 lockdown has forced various restrictions upon the farm vet community. Farm veterinary services are intrinsically linked to the production of safe food , and as a result protecting animal health and welfare is essential.

Vets have highlighted the need for “any digital solution that can facilitate remote consultations with our clients and enable some video consultation and live data collection.”

Distanced consultation is essential. Many dairy farmers are in a high-risk bracket for contracting the virus due to age. In addition, the challenge and necessity of continuing to care for and manage their herds should they or their staff fall ill is a great concern.

Can you hack a digital solution that can facilitate remote consultation and diagnosis of dairy cows?

Challenge #2: Shortage of labour supply for field operations in horticulture

Problem: Shortage of labour supply for field operations in horticulture

The horticulture sector, although high value, is also highly labour intensive, even under best practice operations. In the UK, as elsewhere in Europe, the majority of this seasonal labour requirement is filled by migrant workers. Covid-19 restrictions on travel have prevented many workers from arriving in the UK, and social distancing measures significantly restricts working practices in the field and pack houses.

The sector generates >£1.5bn / €1.67bn at farm gate value in the UK and requires >64,000 seasonal harvest workers

Can you create a solution which automates manual processes for horticulture?

Rules of engagement

Rules & Guidelines

  1. You may only enter one Hackathon challenge:
    • Challenge 1: Digital Diagnosis
    • Challenge 2: Shortage of labour supply for field operations in Horticulture.
  2. Registration closes on Tuesday 8 September at 12 noon.
  3. When you or your team are successful you will hack a technology over two sprint sessions:
    1. Day one: Wednesday 23 September: 9am – 5pm
      • Where we focus on the technical aspect of the technology
    2. Day two: Thursday 24 September 9am – 5pm
      • Where we focus on the route to market plan for the technology
  4. The final day will be delivering a virtual pitch to the panel of industry challenge partners.
  5. You must be available for a Virtual Pitch on the morning of Friday 25 September
  6. When making teams, teams must be available for:
    • Challenge 1 Workshop: 10 September 2pm – 3pm
    • Challenge 2 Workshop: 14 September 10am – 11am


  1. This event is open to both members and non-members of Agri-EPI Centre.
  2. All participants must be over 18 years old.
  3. You may enter as an individual or a fully formed team, teams are to have a maximum of 6 participants. Please note if you enter as an individual Agri-EPI Centre reserves the right to add you into a pre-existing team or to form a team on your behalf.
  4. There will only be a maximum of four teams entered per Hackathon challenge and therefore Agri-EPI Centre reserves the right to eliminate individuals or teams prior to the start of the Hackathon.
  5. Registration for the Hackathon is free and open to teams of between 3-6 or individuals.
  6. Teams and individuals wishing to sign up for the Hackathon must complete the online registration form indicating the personal details of the individual or of each team member. Each individual participant or team member must accept the event regulations and grant consent for the handling of their personal information and for the use by Agri-EPI Centre of video and other images.


  • The winners per Hackathon challenge will each become the focus of the year-long ‘product launch programme’ delivered by Agri-EPI.
  • The winning teams will have 12 months of access to Agri-EPI’s technical and project management expertise, our world-class research and innovation facilities, testbeds and research assets, and our extensive network, which includes a membership of more than 140 companies across agriculture, technology and the supply chain.

How to enter

Who can enter?

We invite any businesses, organisations and academic institutions with an involvement or interest in agri-tech to take part in what promises to be a really exciting event, with the aim of delivering new products that address some of the serious impacts of Coronavirus on the farming industry.

Technology developers (hardware, software) robotics, machine vision and data companies should consider entering the hackathon.

Team Information

You may only enter under one problem statement

If you are entering as a team you must provide a team name and the details and skill set of those involved in your team

If you are entering as an individual you must let us know your details and skill set

Next Steps

You will receive further information from on Tuesday 8th of September as to whether you have been successful in securing a place on the Hackathon.

This Hackathon is Now Closed for Entries

You can register as a team or an individual. Please complete all of the necessary areas on the form. You can only enter to address one challenge statement.Please ensure you have read and accepted the Hackathon terms and conditions prior to registering for the Hackathon.

Partners Challenge #1

Digital Diagnosis Industry Challenge

Landmark Systems

Landmark Systems

Market leading provider of farm business management software, designed to provide farmers with easy-to-use tools that help them stay compliant and make the right business decisions. Landmark products are designed to make essential farm technology accessible to all farmers, with a UK based, experienced team on hand to help when needed.



Established in November 2015, our group includes small animal, equine and farm animal practices. We have more than 4,600 employees working in over 400 sites across the UK and from our headquarters in York. We provide centralised support tailored to individual practice requirements in areas such as operations, HR, finance, IT, purchasing and marketing.

Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN)

Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN)

Linking new ideas and opportunities with expertise, markets and finance through our network of businesses, universities, funders and investors. From agri-food to autonomous systems and from energy to design, KTN combines in-depth knowledge in all sectors with the ability to cross boundaries.



Discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines, vaccines and diagnostic products, which are complemented by biodevices, genetic tests and precision livestock farming. Zoetis serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals in more than 100 countries.

Partners Challenge #2

Shortage of labour supply for field operations in horticulture

Bardsley England

Bardsley England

A company passionate about innovation. Bardsley England operates across 23 sites over 850ha of land throughout Kent. River Farm HQ is where the packhouse and main storage facility forms a centralised operation and distribution hub processing over 35,000tns of fruit every year.



With over 150 machine types, Grimme offer the most comprehensive and widest product range in the potato, beet and vegetable sectors. In the vegetable sector, both GRIMME and its subsidiary, ASA-LIFT, build a variety of innovative machines for harvesting onions, red beet, carrots, leeks, chives, celery, fennel, peas, lettuce etc.

Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN)

Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN)

Linking new ideas and opportunities with expertise, markets and finance through our network of businesses, universities, funders and investors. From agri-food to autonomous systems and from energy to design, KTN combines in-depth knowledge in all sectors with the ability to cross boundaries.

National Farmers Union (NFU)


The most successful representation body for agriculture and horticulture in England and Wales. We’re here to give you a voice and protect your way of life now and in the future. Our purpose is to champion British agriculture and horticulture, to campaign for a stable and sustainable future for British farmers and to secure the best possible deal for our members.

Logo European Union

This Project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, through an Open Call issued and executed under the project SmartAgriHubs (Grant Agreement No. 818 182)


Need help with your registration? Our Hackathon team is happy to answer any of your questions.

Contact us