Interviews

The apps of good, healthy and safe eating


Good, healthy and safe. The social network of those who eat sustainable ". The young participants in thehackathon launched during "Science in the field" by offering apps that connect consumers, traders, producers and catering companies or indicate healthy, safe and intelligent consumption.

Marco Gatti, juror of the competition and director of Expansion, the event's organizer magazine, saw works of excellent quality and full of ideas, from the winner, LiveSano, to the one that cultivates virtual gardens or signals offers of expiring products on the shelves.

1) Who participated? how many apps have you judged? What was the request?

We asked to develop app on the theme “Good, healthy and safe. The social networkof those who eat sustainable ". A total of 10 students participated, coming from the Degree Course in Computer Engineering of the University of Genoa, in Computer Engineering of the University of Bologna, and from the Master's and Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science of the Faculty of Sciences of the Federico II University of Naples.

L'hackaton demonstrated the creativity and technical competence of the children, fundamental ingredients to help the country emerge from the shallows of the crisis: they are not "choosy" at all, they do not hold back when it is necessary to commit themselves to applying their skills to find new solutions to old problems.

2) With what criteria were the works judged? Who was the jury and how were the apps received?

The criteria were: originality of the design idea, amount of work done in the short period of time, properties of the presentation and actual usefulness. A good idea is worth nothing if you don't know how to make it happen, and nobody will use it if we can't communicate it clearly. This is why the quality of the exhibition was also carefully evaluated, and not just the analysis, development and practical implementation skills.

The jury was made up of me, Aldo Campi, Center of Industrial Research on ICT of the University of Bologna, Giovanni De Nicola, Councilor of the Province of Milan and Lino Volpe, CEO of Elior Italia.

3) Who did the first prize go to? It was only for the technical part oralso for the usefulness / popularity achievable?

It was very difficult to choose, all the ideas were worthy. In the end we chose Alex Manzella, of the University of Genoa. Her ViverSano App is a social network that allows you to follow users' consumption preferences, share the surrounding stores and restaurants on the go quality organic products. An app particularly suited to the mobile ecosystem, which combines the best of Twitter, Facebook and Trip Advisor in an easy and pleasant way to use. The jury also positively assessed the large amount of programming actually carried out. Also because he was alone, and he arrived at the end of the day with an already working App.

4) Were there any other mentions?

We liked the quality of the engineering architecture and the potential usefulness of the project BioAdvisor (developed by the Ambientech team, composed of Radu Cosmin Iftode, Paolo Acquaviva, Fabio Galeppi and Fabio Politi), a network that brings together restaurateurs, consumers, traders and producers, to certify organic products at zero km. And the work of the team Full Wipe (consisting of Valentina Lipari, Giovanni Meo and Vittorio Lazzaro) who created FoodWise, an App for growers, markets and consumers. A proposal full of ideas and ideas, each of which deserves to become an App in its own right. In particular, we were struck by the virtually cultivated vegetable garden, which produces real fruit, and the anti-waste market, capable of signaling offers on expiring products.

5) Is this the first time that you have organized a Hackathon on this theme? How do you consider the level of participation found?

Yes, it was a first time. The participation in these events for now, at least in Italy, is not huge, but the quality of the teams and the enthusiasm was really high. And I believe these challenges will become more and more popular in the future.

6) Are there any constant trends and gaps that you noticed among the participants in dealing with this issue?

All the competing teams identified "sustainable eating"With organic and zero-kilometer food which, as we have seen from our survey" Italians and new agriculture "conducted with the Interactive research institute, is the type of agriculture most appreciated by Italians, not only for their table but also to feed the whole planet.

Like all guys, sometimes they tend to put too many ideas, too many features, too many solutions into one app. On the one hand it is the effect of insecurity, whereby you do not trust to present a single idea, and on the other hand it is because they have a lot of enthusiasm, and that is never too much, so you add everything that comes to mind on the moment. It is also for this reason, therefore, that we have rewarded the simplest, most centered and ultimately most practical idea.

7) Do you think consumers and producers are ready to use these Apps today? Which apps "go the most" in this industry?

Yes, so much so that the apps released by the Hackathon of "La Scienza in campo" have aroused concrete interest in the market itself which already has many applications related to food but none able to put consumers, traders, producers and catering companies in contact .

The current market is especially aimed at food lovers, for sharing recipes online and for evaluating restaurant users, based on the Trip Advisor model. Recently one has been released:Foodly, a free app that allows you, with an interactive quiz, to test your knowledge about food: from the economy to society, from biology to agriculture, passing through neuroscience.

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