Analog Devices International (ADI) has been hosting a two-day Hackathon to examine how ADI technology and business models could be used to conserve and make better use of Ireland’s natural resources.

Taking place in Thomond Park, Limerick, 60 people from across Analog’s sites and departments in Ireland and across the world have been split into teams of six and tasked with devising and presenting proposals that could benefit agriculture, fisheries, tourism, landowners and future generations livelihoods.

With the Hackathon providing a hotbed for innovation and creativity, the judges are expecting unique and innovative smart solutions and technologies that could make better use of wind as an energy source, land for food production, water, fishing quotas and other not yet thought of solutions.

Peter Meehan, Analog Devices, said, “Already technology is having a profound impact on the conservation of our natural resources in terms of data gathering, analysis and real-time monitoring of changes occurring. For instance, remote sensing is being used to detect soil degradation. But issues are worsening and there’s an urgency to take action. At ADI we’re all about being ahead of what’s possible.”

“Our livelihoods and those of future generations rely on the health and productivity of our natural resources. However, years of exploitation and mis-management globally has led to so many imbalances in our natural environment which are there for everyone to see: scarcity of water, environmental pollution, de-gradation in eco-system, floods, soil erosion and so forth. ADI technology is being used by our customers around the world to solve some of the toughest engineering challenges in health, automotive and other industries. This Hackathon provides the perfect environment for innovation and creativity so we’re fascinated with the prospects of finding out how our technologies and models could be applied to the safe guarding and sustainability of our natural resources,” he continued.

To understand the issues affecting Ireland and the world, the hackers attended briefings in advance of the event. Dr Stephen Kinsella provided an economist’s perspective on resource conservation, Damien Haberlin and Ashley Bennison, Science foundation Ireland (SFI) Marine Ecology Group, presented on the use contemporary technology/sensors in Marine Ecology, Professor Nick Holden of UCD and Assistant director of the SFI centre Beacon talked about life cycle assessment, soil quality and agricultural systems and Raomal Perera, the “Lean Disruptor”, shared his experience and insights as a serial entrepreneur, consultant, and educator in Design Thinking and Business Model Innovation.

Ten teams are participating, made up of representatives from a wide variety of functions and skill-sets within ADI.

On Tuesday afternoon, each team will pitch their idea to the judges, Dragons’ Den style. The judges, who comprise global leaders and VPs from across the organisation, will decide which team wins, based on their assessment of which idea tackles a real-life problem and makes the best use of ADI technology in providing a solution. The company will then examine the feasibility of developing the winning concept into a solution for actual deployment by a relevant organisation.

This is the third year that ADI has run the Hackathon. Last year, teams looked at how ADI technology could be used to improve Assisted Living and enable more people to live independently.

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