Hakkathon North Iceland

15 April 2021 - 18 May 2021

For this second hackathon Nordic food in Tourism supported and partnered up with a start-up company called Hacking Hekla and Eimur in order to add value and media coverage. Eimur is a development and innovation department for the Northeastern part of Iceland in the field of sustainability, green energy, and improved utilization of resources.

Seven teams participated in the online hackathon and fifteen mentors from various industries and organizations were available to all teams. The judging criteria were based on how well the project solved problems related to food, water, and energy in North Iceland. Judging is based on how the project impacts sustainability, how realistic it is, how original the idea is, the composition of the team and the quality of the presentation.

Most ideas evolved around growing a larger variety of vegetables in the North in a sustainable way. Projects involved greenhouse technology using AI, aquaponic vertical farm in underutilized spaces and growing ginger for a scalable product line. The idea that won focused on sustainable sheep farming, a realistic solution that is easy to implement and can be used as a model for other sheep farmers in Iceland. The most original project was to grow geothermal ginger to produce a high value product line.


1 prize The Green Lamb

Sheep farmers in Iceland have been facing economic downfalls since 2015 due to less consumption and low meat prices. The solution is in the beginning oriented to a specific rural area in the North in order to save local sheep farming. The project aims to bring more economic value to sheep farmers as well as taking steps in protecting the environment since sheep in Iceland roam free in the highlands during summer.  The meat will get a specific certification for quality and sustainable production.

2nd prize Geothermal Ginger- post organic

Our goal is to grow Ginger in Iceland with geothermal water and electricity instead of sunlight and make a chef crafted product line. it could make Iceland sustainable in ginger, and also open peoples mind to grow more things here in Iceland. Our product is going to be focused on sustainability on all angels, packaging, shipping and so on. Will encourage forward thinking in sustainable farming in the North.

Environmental control system for optimized resource usage
Currently, greenhouses waste a lot of resources such as water, energy, and nutrients so the idea is to build an environmental control system or a software-based solution similar that is used in the Netherlands that can optimize plant growth and minimize resource usage and costs.

Space research and innovation center for Iceland
The idea is to use North Iceland for a concept around space research and innovation that include the sustainable use of clean energy, food production, and ISRU (in-situ resource utilization) in cooperation with Iceland Space Agency (Geimvísindastofnun Íslands).

Ísponica, the aquaponic vertical farm
The idea behind Ísponica is to renovate a former barn into an aquaponic vertical farm, which will supply fresh vegetables and herbs for communities nearby. This farming is based upon sustainable methods, including lowering water use and reducing the carbon footprint of transporting food. The goal is not just to start a business – it is to share knowledge and to join in on the efforts to make food security available to everyone.

Automated container farms for fresh and healthy vegetables
The Icelandic company Surova is developing fully autonomous farming units inside used shipping containers. The setup is utilizing a vertical hydroponics system, a robot for automated seeding and harvesting and an artificial intelligence-based environment control system.

Travelling chef
A seasonal traveling cook teaching young adults the simple tricks of cooking delicious meals from food leftovers and food that would be otherwise wasted. All packaged as a free fun monthly event for small towns and schools. Reaching Akureyri and Reykjavik in a later stage. Free class. Free fun. Free meal.


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