SLU news

Forrest app wins Hack for Sweden 365

Published: 07 December 2020

During the 5-6 of December three teams competed in the innovation competition Hack for Sweden 365 to help forest owners fight damage caused by the European spruce bark beetle. The team Mellerud PK won with their solution that connects the physical and digital world and creates benefits for government agencies, research and forest owners.

In this year’s digital Hack for Sweden 365, the National Forest Data Lab (The Swedish Forest Agency and SLU) together with the Swedish National Space Agency challenged the participants to simplify for forest owners to combat the European spruce bark beetle’s forest damage. The European spruce bark beetle causes enormous damage to the forest. According to the latest inventory made by SLU, on assignment from The Swedish Forest Agency, almost 8 million cubic meters of spruce have been affected by the European sprue bark beetle during 2020.

"This is a real societal challenge that affect many people, not only in Sweden but also in large parts of Europe", says Anna-Lena Axelsson, coordinator of the EMA Forest programme at SLU. 

The final took place the weekend of December 5-6. The final started with a panel discussion between SLU’vice-chancellor Maria Knutson Wedel, with the Swedish National Space Agency Director-General Anna Rathsman and the Swedish Forest Agency Director-General Herman Sundqvist 

The finalist teams Helsingborgs DreamteamMellerud PK and Skogshjältarna came from different parts of the country. All teams presented solutions that could be realised on the market, but Mellerud PK won with their forest app solution.

"It’s great to see the innovative power that exsits among the participant. The three finalist teams have different backgrounds and conditions but all demonstrated an ability to tackle a complex problem and solve it in a brillian way. I am so impressed", says Bengt Djuvfeldtproject manager National Forest Data Lab at the Swedish Forest Agency.