Code to help wool sector

Code to help wool sector

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ONLINE ADVANTAGE: Grassroots Coding developers Daniel Ng and Trent Bowden, University of Adelaide, with AWI Farm Automation and Reproduction program manager Carolina Diaz.

ONLINE ADVANTAGE: Grassroots Coding developers Daniel Ng and Trent Bowden, University of Adelaide, with AWI Farm Automation and Reproduction program manager Carolina Diaz.

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AN APP, designed by two University of Adelaide students, that encourages young people interested in wool to learn more about coding has won the top prize

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AN APP, designed by two University of Adelaide students, that encourages young people interested in wool to learn more about coding has won the top prize in the Australian Wool Innovation’s 2018 Tech eChallenge.

The Grassroots Coding entry from students Trent Bowden and Daniel Ng identifies an opportunity to encourage literacy in coding among young people who have in interest in the wool industry and technology.

Mr Bowden and Mr Ng said the competition gave them the motivation and contacts to push the product into development.

“We were taught concepts to help foster innovation in a fun and open environment, with opportunities to discuss ideas with industry professionals one-on-one and to also openly brainstorm with the class, both helping to refine and cultivate our final product,” they said.

“Our product makes the process of learning to code and program fun.

“It also sheds light on issues relevant to the wool and Australian farming industry.”

They will use the $10,000 prize money to work with the industry as they continue to refine the product.

The Tech eChallenge collaboration involves AWI and the Entrepreneurship Commercialisation and Innovation Centre at the University of Adelaide and Deakin University, bringing young minds to tackle everyday issues faced by woolgrowers. 

Teams made up of students, staff and the wider community took part in an intensive workshop course across the past three months to give them the skills to develop practical, low-cost digital tools to help wool producers improve animal health, welfare and productivity.

Participants came up with ideas and developed products they pitched to a panel of expert judges in the grand final, held at the University of Adelaide.

AWI Farm Automation and Reproduction program manager Carolina Diaz said this year’s challenge had a huge diversity in the concepts brought forward.

“The Tech eChallenge taps into a group of people from a wide range of backgrounds that would not necessarily see the business potential for technology in the wool industry,” she said. 

“After the success of last year, this potential is becoming evident as a viable area for the engagement of technology.”

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