The Botswana Innovation Fund, under the Grand Challenges Botswana initiative, in partnership with African Academy of Sciences – AESA, invites submissions to the open challenge for space solutions for the agriculture and tourism sectors. This comes as the need for digital data and its utilisation takes centre stage in informing science-based evidence driven decision making and policy advise.
The Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) launched a project towards the design and launch of a microsatellite to harness the power of EO data for different applications and business models. As part of development of capacity to fully harness the opportunities presented by the data that will be generated, the BIF has identified specific sectors that stand to benefit from uptake of such data. Given the availability of similar datasets from alternative sources, the objective is to develop the framework and identify key solution providers with commercially viable solutions for the sectors now and in future.
The space-technology sector is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world, but it is still significantly underexploited. This represents a sizeable investment opportunity. The African Union has identified earth observation as a key resource which must be leveraged in achieving Africa’s development goals. One of the best ways to grow this sector is through an open innovation challenges, crowdsourcing solutions addressing daily challenges in our communities.
The Botswana Innovation Fund is calling on developers and creatives to participate in the open innovation challenge on Space applications for Agriculture and Tourism. We are seeking the best ideas in the downstream application of space technology, including but not limited to utilisation of satellite data, airborne data, UAV data and value-added datasets to provide daily solutions in the sectors. The target solutions will have undergone calibration and validation stages to ensure they are of the right quality and standards. Standard metadata are a must for all spatial products.
This is in alignment to the national digital transformation initiatives as well as economic transformation and recovery plans.
This challenge aims to identify locally developed solutions that demonstrate the utilisation of relevant emerging and fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) related technologies, e.g., Artificial intelligence and Big data analytics in geospatial data benefitting the tourism and agriculture sectors.
Examples of potential technologies that could be leveraged for
Smart Agriculture include:
Imagery: Remote sensing, which in agriculture typically refers to imagery analysis from satellite data, has been around for many decades. The new trends are on more frequent satellite imagery using low earth orbit (LEO) satellites or higher resolution imagery using aircrafts and drones which can fly beneath clouds and are available on demand to monitor crop health or pest and disease outbreaks.
Sensors: Existing sensors measure weather or basic soil properties. There are new sensor types being developed, such as for nutrients or more accurate sensing for plants and livestock. There is also new research on in-plant sensing.
Artificial Intelligence (AI): As new data sources become available in larger quantities, resolution, timeliness and quality, new techniques using distributed computing and machine learning techniques are required to process that data and convert it into actionable information.
Internet of Things (IoT): Small, cheap and disposable sensors enable better and more frequent monitoring. However, connecting these sensors through IoT platforms enables real-time monitoring and cloud computing to provide greater visibility and traceability of food throughout the supply chain. For example, if fresh produce exceeds temperature thresholds at any point during transit, this can be recorded and flagged in real-time. There is an increased demand to learn where food came from. Several start-ups are building technologies to trace produce through storage units and retail stores using IoT.
The Goals of Challenge
To design mobile and online based applications and communication tools to support sustainable growth in the agriculture and tourism sectors.
Empower the general public on Agri-tech solutions and encourage participation
Optimise the use of EO data and its integration with other datatypes to generate impactful solutions
Develop local capacity in space applications development and Support early stage start ups into sustainable companies with market access.
Provide access to capacity building, market access and investment
The focus is on a set of applications which use earth observation, the gathering of information about the physical, chemical and biological systems via remote-sensing and related technologies and further integration with other datasets including real-time data processing and solution generation.
- The competition is open to the following categories of applicants (app developers, animators, graphic designers / comic creators) operating in Botswana, including:
- Registered companies
- Freelance developers
- The target solutions should create unique visualizations of existing data for local communities on food security, land and wetlands ecosystems, water resources, climate and conservation.
- The apps and communication tools developed should address issues including the following categories.
Market and logistical opportunities
Monitoring Agriculture activities
Monitoring Tourism activities
Tourist services maps
- All entities whose project proposals shall be shortlisted will be required to register as BIH members.
- Intellectual Property shall reside in Botswana
NOTE: Botswana Innovation Fund Guidelines, application evaluation criteria and Questions & Answers are available on the BIH website (https://www.bih.co.bw
For further enquires please email: firstname.lastname@example.org