The two happy girls Erica McConell and Natalie Brennan from UiB received two awards for their concept Digital Gut Interface under AquaHack 2018 in Bergen.


In the corridors of MediaCity Bergen, it is action. Here is AquaHack, which is the world’s first hackathon for the aquaculture industry. Here, 45 aquaculture sprouts have been given two days to solve some of the industry’s problems.

The participants have been divided into six teams 48 hours to develop and sell their ideas to the aquaculture industry.

Björgólfur Hávarðsson from the NCE Seafood Innovation Cluster shared the Aquahack prizes on behalf of the judge panel and announced that the winner of the concept category was Erica McConell and Natalie Brennan of the University of Bergen (UiB) for their solution "Digital Gut Interface".

Got first and second place
To, the two ladies say they complemented each other well, as one is an educated biologist and the other takes a master in system dynamics.

"We were very surprised that we won the concept category in AquaHack, and a second place in the technology category. We think the other participants were very impressive, so we got a little shocked, they said satisfied.

The victory, as well as the second place, implies a cash prize of a total of $ 40,000 for the two girls, but what the money will go to, they have not figured out yet, but point out that they want to develop the idea further.

McConell and Brennan said during their five-minute presentation that breeders today take many decisions based on the stomach feeling. This inspired them to create the Digital Gut interface, which is a modeling system that will collect data from breeders, which in turn can help them make better and more accurate decisions, as well as plan production better.

Their concept is to collect different data such as temperatures, smolt sizes, licorice, weight of the fish and so on. When using an algorytme, suggestions are made for different things that can be done to increase the welfare of the fish. The solution can be integrated with AquaCloud.

Second place in the concept category went to "Three Brothers on the 9th floor" for the concept "Smart nets", and winner of the technology category became "AquaLens".
The competitors are preparing to pitch their idea.
Two days of intensive work
The competition in Bergen has gathered 45 participants from many different countries over two days. Participants have teamed to win first place in the "technology" and "concept" categories. The first place in the categories won 30,000 kroner and the second place received 10,000 kroner each.

The participants have been working closely together for two days to develop a new idea. Participants have, among other things, been the first to be allowed to use sensitive data from AquaCloud, and thus have been able to use real data in the concepts they have developed.

Day one of Aquahack consisted of idemulation and task work, and on day two, six teams had to present their pitch idea in five minutes.

Product developer Nina Grieg in Grieg Seafood said she was impressed by what the participants have shown. She was also one of the judges and helped to assist the participants these two days. Included in the judges panel was Kasper Løberg Tangen in Deloitte, George Georg Baunach in Hatch, Björgólfur Hávarðsson from Nce Seafood Innovation Cluster and Tore Notland in IBM.

It took a long time after the presentations before the referees came back with the final winners, so it is clear that the experienced judge panel took this to the greatest seriousness.

The event is a shared collaboration between NCE Seafood, NCE Media, IBM, Deloitte, Hatch, Bergen Municipality and Grieg Seafood.