• Aiga Irmeja

Digitalisation is at the base of growth – new digitalisation workshops are launched, specifically de


New digitalisation workshops for the food industry, also titled X-industry hackathon, have been launched on March 19th, taking place till April 16th. Alongside the traditional series of events, a mini X-industry hackathon is presented where IT professionals join the industry SMEs to help them evaluate their current business processes and how the existing digital solutions can help them improve their results.

The X-industry hackathon for the food industry lets the food companies share their business challenges and invites the IT companies to look for the digital solutions. In 5 workshops from March 19th to April 16th they join forces to step out of the box, understand how industries work and put their knowledge together to build new solutions and grow their business. This time, among the participants are Cannelle Bakery, SFT Seafood, Milzu!, Food Union, Baltic Ovo, as well as Taste Caps, Fermentum, Latvijas ķiploks and Oscar’s Fish who participate in the very first mini X-industry hackathon, created to help the companies define and analyse their business processes, and draft potential scenarios how existing digital solutions can improve their results. The IT expertise is represented by Datakom, Burti, Gstream, AndIT Solutions, Lux Technology, Dots., MBIT and Positive Company.

Bruno Ansons, the board member at Cannelle Bakery, explains: ‘This X-industry hackathon, targeted at food industry, was like a catalyst for our company to accentuate a challenge which we had but was not addressed yet – the complicated administration of production documentation. We expect that the event will help us find a solution that is of good quality, easy to use and beneficial, a solution we can effectively implement in our business.’

Over the course of 4 weeks the hosts Latvian IT Cluster, working with different industry professionals, will also offer valuable keynotes in the topics, such as business and product development, user experience, pitching and innovation implementation for the teams to achieve the results faster and gain knowledge that can boost their business development.

X-industry hackathon is organised in a close collaboration with the Food Products Quality Cluster. As its CEO Armands Lejas-Krumins points out: ‘The outcome of the food industry digitalisation project mostly depends on the skill how two industries – the relatively conservative food industry and the digitally advanced IT industry – will be able to communicate ‘without translators’. The opening event gave a hope that the interaction would be successful resulting in new cross-industry collaboration proposals at the Latvian Food Competence Centre.’

In the meantime, Aiga Irmeja, the Executive Director at Latvian IT Cluster, outlines the decision of hosting a parallel mini X-industry hackathon: ‘Preparing for the event and talking to companies in the food industry, we concluded that many of them found it difficult to navigate themselves in the existing pool of the IT solutions and detect the best one for their needs. Thus, this has become one of the focal challenges in this intake – to help these companies create a quality road map for digitalising business processes in a way it can afterwards let them grow more rapidly. This is why we have introduced the mini X-industry hackathon.’

X-industry hackathon is organised under project DIGICLUSTERS that was funded by the European Union’s COSME Programme. DIGICLUSTERS is a novel European Strategic Cluster Partnership for smart specialization investments and industrial modernisation of agrofood & packaging sectors towards Industry 4.0 and digital transformation through pioneer concept of Cluster-Facilitated X-Industry Hackathons. More information about project here.

* The content of this article represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility; it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission and the Agency do not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.

** Photo: Klaids Lielbiksis

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