Evergreen Innovation Camp: New Hackathon on Autonomy in the Forest

Two projects from last year's hackathon in feasibility study

From November 25th to 27th, 2020, the second hackathon within the framework of the Evergreen Innovation Camp will take place in Seestadt Aspern, Vienna. The focus of this hackathon is how autonomous drones and robots can revolutionize forestry. Teams of students and young professionals will have 48 hours to develop the best applications of autonomous technologies for forestry and the wood industry. Emphasis is placed on the interdisciplinary composition of the teams. In addition to participants from forestry and the wood industry, diverse fields of study are also encouraged. This mixture allows for new approaches and solutions. The teams whose concepts impress the expert jury will be awarded prizes totaling over €10,000, with the main prize endowed with €6,000.

Successful first Evergreen Innovation Camp in 2019 The first hackathon within the Evergreen Innovation Camp took place from November 27th to 29th, 2019, at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna. Over 70 students and young professionals from Austria, Germany, and Switzerland worked in interdisciplinary teams to develop innovative and actionable solutions for tracking the wood supply chain from the forest to the sawmill. The concept was successful, with engaged and creative teams and consistently high-quality ideas.

At least two concepts have great potential to be implemented. Last year's winning project, "Tree ID," is currently in the proof of concept phase. It is based on the comparison of laser measurement data from the forest and the mill. Before harvesting, the standing trees are measured using laser scanning. The shape of the trunk and the distribution of branches along the trunk are unique, allowing for recognition. The hackathon team "Beetle" has also developed a promising coding device that can assign logs in the sawmill to their exact harvest location. The idea has matured to the point where the five-member team is working on launching a startup with the help of accelerators.

"The format of a hackathon and the collaboration of participants from various fields of study promote interdisciplinary exchange and enable completely new approaches. We are pleased that this format has been well received, and many interesting concepts have been developed. We hope that the teams will participate in the hackathon again this year with enthusiasm and innovative ideas." Georg Erlacher, Board Member, Evergreen Foundation

"We are excited to see what applications the teams come up with for the new challenge. Autonomous navigation will surely not only be used on the road in the future. It also has great potential to revolutionize work in the forest." Hannes Plackner, Project Manager, Evergreen Innovation Camp.