BioBoosters - Boosting the circular transition

Sunrise Tech Park Hosts Nando Hackathon to Combat Overfertilization in European Agriculture

06 May 2024
In a major step toward sustainable agricultural practices the Nando Hackathon was held at Sunrise Tech Park targeting the pressing issue of overfertilization in European agriculture.
Technical details


Overfertilization characterized by the excessive use of nitrogen and phosphates, poses severe threats including water pollution, soil degradation, biodiversity loss, and human health risks. In response the Nando Hackathon gathered creative minds from across the all around the Europe to foster solutions that promote responsible business practices and facilitate a shift towards a circular economy.

“While working in a company that has been developing agricultural products for several years, we have observed a pressing issue regarding the excessive use of mineral fertilizers. Excess nitrates and phosphates seep into groundwater, disrupting natural biological processes in the soil. Therefore, in this hackathon, we posed the challenge of optimizing the use of mineral fertilizers in agriculture and replacing them with harmless alternatives,” says Jonas Ignatavičius, Head of Innovation at Nando and mentor of the hackathon.

The event saw participation from six dynamic teams who presented cutting-edge solutions aimed at addressing the challenges of overfertilization:

  • GreenFly form Lithuania which offered utilized drone technology for high-resolution scanning and analysis of croplands.
  • Organe from Denmark creating developed CropManager software for precise fertilizer planning and biofertilizer application.
  • FLOC Ammonia Solutions from Spain that introduced intelligent membrane systems for separating NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) from manures.
  • Agrisense from Lithuania which showcased innovative NPK sensors for continuous soil monitoring.
  • Agrolinera from Spain that proposed a novel approach to manure management and separation.
  • Deep Scientific and VakeWorks from Lithuania, Sweden and India offered advanced analytical tools for assessing nutritional values and soil composition.

The hackathon concluded with GreenFly from Lithuania being declared the winner for their innovative use of drone technology in optimizing fertilizer usage and improving crop health. An honorary award was presented to Agrisense for their pioneering NPK sensor technology.

“As a team we really appreciate ability to be here for Nando Hackathon for few days. We didn’t sleep much and spent almost all night working on pitching our drone technology. The mentorship helped us to accelerate our idea to this winning level”, said Green Fly representatives Meda Surdokaite, Dovydas Bernatavicius, Simas Mukauskas and Kajus Cerniauskas.

“We were pleasantly surprised by the active participation of both Lithuanian and foreign teams. We received a total of 14 applications and selected 6 for the final stages. The teams proposed various solutions to the challenge – ranging from specialized soil sensors, mobile applications, options for managing residues, to the employment of artificial intelligence with drones. We promise to continue collaboration with the winning team of the hackathon, which proposes a fertilizer reduction solution using artificial intelligence and multispectral drones. We have already initiated cooperation with other participating companies as they are testing solutions with the products we develop,” says Justinas Taruška, CEO of Nando and member of the jury.

The success of the Nando Hackathon marks a significant milestone in our commitment to sustainable agriculture and environmental stewardship. By harnessing the power of international collaboration and innovation, Nando and its partners continue to lead the way in developing solutions that not only meet the needs of today but also safeguard the resources of tomorrow.