A murder mystery on a train is a classic crime fiction scenario - but participants in Australia's first Agrifood Trainhack will be charged with unravelling, a very different kind of mystery. On board: teams of students, entrepreneurs, data scientists and future-looking farmers interrogating agricultural data sets including weather, production, environmental and consumer information.
The two-day datahack will start on November 29 as the train pulls out of Sydney's Central Station bound for Armidale, where the event will continue at University of New England's SMART Farm.
At stake: a $20,000 prize pool, and hopefully the germ of an idea that will change Australian agriculture.
Event organisers, UNE SMART Region Incubator (SRI) and Food Agility CRC, are now looking for sponsors and participants to contribute to the Agrifood Trainhack.
"The novel event was designed to generate fresh perspectives on old challenges," SRI Director Dr Lou Conway said
"A train provides a special sort of environment, closed but not claustrophobic, travelling through constantly changing landscapes.
"The Agrifood Trainhack will be moving through the farming landscapes and rural communities we hope to influence by drawing out new interpretations of old data. It's the perfect place to bring together talented people seeking fresh ways of looking at our agrifood environment," Dr Conway concluded.
"The teams would choose out of a number of set challenges and related data sets to tackle on the journey," Food Agility CEO Dr Mike Briers said.