App to help reduce grocery store food wastage wins NYU AD hackathon
App to reduce food waste wins NYU AD's Hackathon for Social Good in the Arab World
An app to help grocery stores to reduce food waste has won NYU Abu Dhabi’s International Hackathon for Social Good in the Arab World.
The ‘Wakkalni Food Savour’ app enables small grocery shops to post discounts on items that would otherwise be thrown away, to reduce wastage. The app also allows stores to share information about their produce and educates consumers about food products.
The app was developed by a team of students from different NYU campuses around the world, including Zijie Lu (NYU Shanghai, from China), Ray Hsu (NYUAD, from Taiwan), Barkin Simsek (NYUAD, from Turkey), and Sion Hau (NYUAD, from Australia).
The winning team was mentored by Software Engineer from Improbable Keeley Erhardt, founder and CEO of Kandw technologies International Khalid Machchate, and Managing Partner of #Outliers Poseidon Ho.
Sion Hau said: “Our project aims to reduce food waste, which is important as the annual cost of the UAE’s food waste reaches around 13 billion dirhams a year. We thought that this is a big issue that we need to solve as food waste is also a major driver for climate change. Through our project, we hope to curb food waste.”
The three-day hackathon took place at NYUAD, and challenged teams to develop ideas for tech-based solutions for social good. The event provides an opportunity for students to experience the full cycle of creating a tech startup: sharing, generating, and pitching ideas; learning new platforms and programming languages; designing and developing mobile and web applications; and working within a team.
Teams presented their final products to a panel of distinguished judges, including Director of the Center for Cyber Security and NYUAD Research Assistant Professor Hoda Alkhzaimi, NYUAD Associate Professor of Computer Science Nizar Habash, and Engineering Manager in the Bloomberg Mobile Team Mark Wood, among others.
This year's focus was on Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, data science, and Natural Language Processing (NLP), aiming to help produce software, hardware, and Augmented Reality (AR) applications for social good,” said organiser, Founder and Chair of NYUAD Hackathon, Clinical Professor of Computer Science at NYU New York, and Affiliated Faculty at NYUAD Sana Odeh.
“With over 1,000 applications from top universities from around the world, we have seen an array of impressive talent this year from more than 30 countries, and we have enjoyed seeing their innovative proposals and results.”