27.1. 2015 Startup

Finnish team will head to ESA App Camp Final in Barcelona in March

The AGRAI app that provides farmers with information on e.g. the weather, progress of the growth season and estimated harvest time was the winner of the Turku selection appathon for the European Space Agency’s ESA App Camp. The winning team of four Finnish programmers will travel to the final to be held in Barcelona in March.

Each team had a five minutes' pitch in ESA App Camp Turku.

Through the App Camp competition the European Space Agency ESA and its partners are looking for new applications that utilise space technology for everyday purposes. Turku was one of the six European cities that arranged the selection appathon last weekend.

The jury selected as the winner a Finnish team comprising of Henrik Skogström, Aarni Koskela, Otso Rasimus and Matti Määttänen. Their app called AGRAI utilises the data collected by satellites on, for example, the weather and climate. The app provides farmers with information on the progress of the growth season and expected harvest time. Thus the farmers can aim to optimise e.g. the time for fertilising and harvesting.

The jury considered the idea to be clear and carefully thought over. They also saw commercial potential, as it offers the users a chance to achieve larger crop and thus financially better result. The app was also believed to offer many opportunities for further development within the Internet of Things.

The winners in the front row, jury in the back row.

The other apps in the Turku Appathon had to do with e.g. monitoring of forest fires and planning of cycling routes. In the competition, the four-person teams prepared their ideas for 24 hours, after which the ideas were pitched to the jury and other teams. The appathon utilises the SAP Hana Cloud platform and data provided by ESA’s Earth observation satellites. The furthermost participants came to Turku from India.

The winning Finnish team will participate in the final held in conjunction with Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona at the beginning of March.

The partners of ESA App Camp in Finland are Turku Science Park Ltd, software company SAP, Fujitsu Finland Oy, Turku Energia, the City of Turku, and the Finnish Meteorological Institute. ESA Appathon Turku is part of the open data project (6Aika) of Finland’s biggest cities which is partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund. One of the goals of the 6Aika project is to utilise open data in creating new services and applications.

Network for users of open data

The City of Turku’s address at the App Camp was given by Tarja Vuorinen who talked about the measures taken for the utilisation of open data. Information on the subject will be provided on university courses, as well as to companies and their partner organisations.

“The goal of Turku Science Park Ltd is to advance the utilisation of open data especially in local companies. At the App Camp, however, the emphasis was on students from whom we requested feedback on the need for training and seminars on the subject, the challenges of using open data, and how they want to network around the subject. We will try to take those wishes into account in the implementation of the project”, says Kalle Luhtinen from Turku Science Park Ltd.