The task for the students, who are finalizing the third year at the Industrial Economics program at Chalmers University of Technology, was to develop ideas for smart digital solutions that could make Gothenburg a better place to live. 18 teams came up with ideas that were presented with a short film and a poster, published on the urban development website of the City of Gothenburg. For two months the public has been invited to vote for their favorite. Meanwhile, a jury including members from the city's various administrations and the teacher of the course, assessed the proposals.
When the voting closed on May 31, it was clear that the proposal Matvinn, developed by Rebecka Jakobsson, Cecilia Michelsen, Filipppa Johnsen, Clara Ottosson, Fredrik Dahl and Linnéa Fransson, had convinced both the jury and the general public as it received the highest scores from both. "Winner all over! Food for children who do not get a meal at home," were some of the jury's motivations.
"We are very happy about winning! It feels great that both the City of Gothenburg and the public like our idea and that the issue of food waste comes in focus," says the team via Clara Ottosson.
The idea of Matvinn was born out of the fact that 34 tons of edible food is thrown out every day in Swedish school kitchens. At the same time, there is a clear goal in the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development, to which the world’s countries have agreed, that food waste should be reduced by 50 percent by 2030.
With Matvinn's proposal, school kitchen staff pack leftover food in boxes that are placed in a locked fridge. Parents then use an app to see how many boxes are available and book them. They will also receive a code for the fridge to be able to retrieve their booked boxes. The food boxes are free for families, which means that they save both time and money. Through the app they would also get information on how much food they have saved and how much carbon dioxide emissions it corresponds to.
The app has not been fully developed during the semester, but the team has been in contact with a school in Angered that has shown interest in the project. The school is already actively working to minimize food waste, but still estimates that about 20 servings a day are thrown away. Trying to find solutions to real problems and the different structure of the course was appreciated by the students.
"It was great fun and a change from how we usually study. It was motivating to work with something that can be applied in reality and to have contact with various actors in society. Also, we enjoyed the opportunity to be creative and come up with our own ideas for how Gothenburg can be developed into a smarter and more sustainable city. Brainstorming around innovative solutions is very rewarding and fun but also challenging," says Clara Ottosson.
Gothenburg Smart City Challenge
The Gothenburg Smart City Challenge competition took place during the spring semester of 2020 and is a collaboration between Chalmers University of Technology and the City of Gothenburg within the framework of the EU project IRIS Smart Cities
. Nearly 200 people voted on the 18 proposals and the highest number of votes was received by Matvinn with 26 points. The proposal was also ranked number one by the jury in which the City of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology were included. Runner up in the competition, with 24 of the public's votes, was the proposal Plantform - a digital platform to facilitate for urban farming in Gothenburg.