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The winner of ValioHackathon uses data to solve the reasons behind seasonal variation of milkproduction

Jamk University of Applied Sciences organized hackathon for Valio Ltd. to find solutions to equalize seasonal variation in milk production. Swedish Elvenite AB offered the winning solution for ValioHackathon. The winner aims to utilize data straight from primary production.

Seasonal variation refers to the monthly variation in milk volume. Dairy farms aim to achieve the most consistent milk production volume throughout the year.

“Valio’s customers buy milk products evenly throughout the year. However, the amount of milk entering Valio’s production varies throughout the year. During the summer months, milk production is high, while in the winter months it is lower. This results in inefficiencies for both dairy farms and Valio’s factories”, says Ulf Jahnsson, VP of Primary Production at Valio.

Swedish Elvenite AB offered the winning solution for ValioHackathon 2023/11/28. Elvenite proposed to pilot a data model for understanding the factors affecting the seasonality of the milk production. Pilot would be developed based on a dataset collected from representative sample of dairy farms featuring farms with high and low seasonality.

“We have already started the discussion with Elvenite on the next steps,” Ulf Jahnsson says.  

“Elvenite provided us a comprehensive approach to tackling seasonality in milk production. It came apparent that we do not have a thorough understanding of the factors affecting seasonality and why some farms have a steeper seasonality than others. With the comprehensive data analysis and comparison of farms with low and high seasonality, we can get to the bottom of the challenge and understand also what solutions would be the most effective. Then, we can prioritize the action plans for farms and have a smart and effective response to the challenge,” says Hanna Castro, Development Manager at Valio. 

Equalizing this seasonal variation in milk production would make Valio’s production planning more efficient. Constant production levels would enable leaner and more efficient operations in the entire production chain. This would improve cost control and contribute also to Valio’s carbon neutral milk by 2035 aim.

“ValioHackathon was a great experience for us. Especially meeting all the mentors that had very different points of input and different backgrounds has been very valuable. Interacting with all the participants and people with in-depth knowledge on the dairy farm operations was inspirational and gave a lot of insights to the challenge at hand,” tell Agnes Lindell and Niclas Lovsjö, Elvenite. 

The hackathon was organized for Valio by the BioBoosters by Jamk Bio and circular economy business accelerator, together with Estonian University of Life Sciences and Kasvu Open.

The open call for solution providers attracted a record number of 18 applications from the Baltic Sea Region. Six teams from three countries were selected to attend the final stage of the innovation competition. The six teams selected for the Hackathon were Anicare Oy, Elvenite AB, Quanturi Oy, Condensed milk, SimHerd A/S, and HAMK Smart Data and Business Analytics team.

”We were happy to see a wide range of applications and a high-level of interest to ValioHackathon. The applications gave a good overview of the approaches available for tackling the challenge of seasonal variation in milk production. In the team selection, we prioritized new, innovative data-based applications to manage the dairy farm operations and gain more balanced production”, stated Sanna Nokka, Development Manager at Valio. 

“Valio has encouraged all participating teams to continue working on their idea and the dialogue with Valio. Hopefully, once we have the collaboration with Elvenite, and a better understanding of the factors affecting seasonal variation, we can prioritise the steps and solutions needed. At this stage, the solutions presented by teams will come in hand,” Hanna Castro says.

ValioHackathon is part of the international BioBoosters project, led by Jamk University of Applied Sciences and co-funded by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme. The project brings together nine innovation networks in the bioeconomy sector from countries around the Baltic Sea: Finland, Sweden, the Baltic States, Poland, and Germany. The project organizes 18 Hackathons to support responsible business practices and the transition to a circular economy for bioeconomy companies.

Additional information about ValioHackathon:

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