IBM's Food Waste Developer Challenge
Justin Banusing (R) and teammate Jonathan Cady (L) at the presentation of FreShip at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas Credits to Justin Banusing social media.

Philippine Science High School (Pisay) – Western Visayas alumnus Justin Banusing and his team from the University of Washington (UW) are the winners of the 2019 IBM Food Waste Developer Challenge.

The 19-year-old Bunasing, the eSports Section Editor of the Inquirer.net, is a sophomore at the UW.

FreShip, the entry of Justin Banusing with schoolmates Jonathan Cady and Tanner Koistra, UW alumnus Nathanael Davidson, and FloridaTech’s Munaster Syed, was announced on October 3 as the winner of the IBM-AngelHack virtual hackathon that challenged developers to limit food waste through technology conducted from July 25 to August 23.

In the IBM announcement, FreShip was described as the winning “solution that would dramatically reduce waste through grocery and food chains.”

The FreShip group bested over 100 teams for the Grand Prize of $ 3,000, a showcase at the IBM-sponsored lounge at Groceryshop, and a private dinner with Grocery leaders and IBM.

Justin Banusing (R) and teammate Jonathan Cady (L), together with Tanner Koistra, Nathanael Davidson, and Munaster Syed win the 2019 IBM Food Waste Developer Challenge. Credits to Justin Banusing social media.

IBM writer Matthew Herr describes the winning FreShip as a software and hardware platform that minimizes food waste through constant monitoring along with the integration of an e-commerce platform that allows food that would otherwise be wasted to be resold somewhere else.

The features of the winning FreShip include:
* Uses Arduino and NB-IoT technologies to outfit food shipping containers with the resources needed to monitor the freshness of the food
* Smart bidding contracts are deployed on a Hyperledger Fabric blockchain connected via IBM IoT to a network of smart sensors located on the shipping containers
* Using IBM Watson machine learning, FreShip analyzes photos of food to determine how fresh it is, and provides options for what to do with food instead of letting it go to waste

IBM illustrated the FreShip process:
If a supermarket orders bananas and due to shipping delays, the bananas are too ripe for them to sell, instead of them being thrown away, FreShip would allow them to redirect this shipment of bananas to a manufacturer that could use them. This minimizes loss for the supermarket and reduces food waste at the same time, which benefits all parties.

FreShip estimates that it can reduce the amount of food waste by up to 70% by 2022.

“We believe we can have real impact for our clients and their customers around food waste. By leveraging open technologies like IBM Cloud, blockchain, IoT, and others, the virtual hackathon is an example of how we can help clients find innovative solutions to these problems, whether it comes from within their own company or not,” said Gina Claxton, General Manager of the Distribution Market for US IBM Global Markets about the value of the IBM
Food Waste Developer Challenge.

Filipino innovations have addressed society’s needs, among them, a team of science researchers from De La Salle University Dasmarinas who discovered how squid ink can help in disaster management, a University of Santo Tomas student who developed a brain-computer that aids locked-in syndrome, and a University of the Philippines Manila student who showed how probiotics can be used to treat colon cancer, one of the top causes of death in the Philippines.

SEND congratulations in the comments below to Justin Banusing and his team for winning the 2019 IBM Food Waste Developer Challenge!

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