Crunch the open data to put better food on our plates
Competition launched to use open data to tackle food sustainability, security and nutrition
From agricultural price indices to cereal usage stocks, reams of data about our food production and consumption have been opened up to the public by the government and businesses alike. Now the public is being invited to get creative about how we can use this data to improve the way we eat.
To be in the running to win the £40,000 prize, entrants are asked to respond to a specific challenge question: How can we use open data to help people eat more healthily, eat more sustainably and / or have a more secure food chain? The Food Open Data Challenge is one in a series of seven challenges run by Nesta and the Open Data Institute (ODI) to create new products and services that use open data (data that is freely available to the public). The Challenge welcomes entries from people from technical backgrounds, those working in the food production sector and informed members of the public.
Open data is already used by many websites and applications to help address social issues. The challenge invites entrants to draw inspiration from tools and services already utilising open data in the food sector. These include tools such as Sincuru that sell farm surplus direct to customers and FoodTrade which match-makes businesses to work together for a responsible and efficient food system.
The open data food challenge wants to encourage more open data products and tools that support food production, trade and consumption and specifically those which focus on:
- healthy eating
- food security
The challenge is supported by Food Challenge Champion Amy Cooper, founder of social enterprise Secret Seed Society and urban food gardener, who will work across the programme to help explore the open data potential and to convene a community of participants with great ideas.
Food Challenge Champion Amy Cooper comments: “This is a great opportunity to demonstrate to government, business and individuals how open data can be converted into meaningful information. I hope we’ll see participants from a variety of backgrounds coming together to design products or services powered by open data which will help people eat healthily, sustainably or create a more secure food chain.”
A list of open data sources that could be used as part of the challenge is available on the Open Data Challenge Series page of the Nesta website – www.nesta.org.uk/odcs.
Applications to the Food Open Data Challenge can be made via our CollabFinder page and will close on Monday 27 October at midday. A select group of entrants will then be invited to test their ideas at a Creation Weekend before three finalists are given a £5,000 prize and a tailored package of support for the two month incubation phase which will help develop their idea further. An overall winner will then be decided in January 2015.
For all media enquiries please contact Laura Scarrott in Nesta’s press office: [email protected] / 020 7438 2697
Food Open Data Challenge and Open Data Challenge Series
The Food Open Data Challenge forms part of the Open Data Challenge Series which is led by Nesta and the Open Data Institute (ODI). The specific challenge that entrants should seek to solve is: How can we use open data to help people eat more healthily, eat more sustainably and / or have a more secure food chain?
The Food Open Data Challenge invites teams including business, start-ups, social enterprises and community groups to collaborate and compete with each other to use open data to build products and services that help people make get the best out of food.
For more information on the Open Data Challenge Series which is funded by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills visit: www.nesta.org.uk/odcs.
About Nesta: Nesta is the UK's innovation foundation. We help people and organisations bring great ideas to life. We do this by providing investments and grants and mobilising research, networks and skills. We are an independent charity and our work is enabled by an endowment from the National Lottery.
About the ODI: The Open Data Institute catalyses the evolution of open data culture to create economic, environmental, and social value. It unlocks supply, generates demand, creates and disseminates knowledge to address local and global issues. Founded by Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt and Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the ODI is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan, Limited by Guarantee company. It has secured £10 million over five years via the UK innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, $750,000 from global philanthropic investor Omidyar Network, and is working towards long-term sustainability through match funding and direct revenue.