During the 2020 fall semester, the Dairy Innovation Hub partnered with Hyper Innovation to host a Student Challenge to harness the creativity of UW System undergraduate students to discover novel solutions for the dairy community.
Student projects focused on one of three challenges derived from recommendations from the Dairy Taskforce 2.0:
- Enhancing the shelf-life of Wisconsin dairy products
- Encouraging dairy product consumption by Wisconsin students
- Utilizing IOT or robotic technologies to enhance operations
A panel of industry leaders selected teams for awards in a number of categories:
- Best of Focus Area Enhancing the shelf-life of Wisconsin dairy products: Extending Shelf-Life of Yogurt Using Natural Bio-Actives
- Best of Focus Area Encouraging dairy consumption by Wisconsin students: Encouraging Dairy Consumption Through Online Gaming
- Best of Focus Area Utilizing IOT or robotic technologies minimize labor or enhance farm operations: Temperature Monitoring Through Non-Invasive Septum Ring
- Most creative: Ice-cold Milk Pouches
- Most Improved Desirability, Feasibility, Viability Score: Computer Vision System for Heat Detection
- Best Presentation: Improving Packaging for School Meal Programs
- Most Sustainable: Extending Shelf-Life of Yogurt Using Natural Bio-Actives
- Best Plan of Execution: Extending Shelf-Life of Yogurt Using Natural Bio-Actives
- Voters Choice from the Dairy Summit: Ice-cold Milk Pouches
The Challenge relied on industry advisors to define problems and create opportunities for students to generate novel solutions addressing the most pressing issues facing Wisconsin dairy, including those identified by the state’s Dairy Task Force 2.0. Through online hack-a-thons, students working in teams generated ideas and assessed viability of potential solutions before building proofs of concept. Professional experts worked with student teams throughout the Challenge to ensure desirability and feasibility of the solutions.
The Dairy Innovation Hub Student Challenge was open to all students at UW-Madison, UW-Platteville and UW-River Falls. All Challenge activities were hosted virtually to follow public health guidelines.