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On November 15, we finally met the winners of SEA2SEE’s Hackathon, which began during the summer of 2023. Four groups have been working hard to propose a complementary tool based on blockchain technology designed to assist consumers in making informed and responsible decisions when purchasing seafood, focusing on the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 – Life Below Water.

The BlockchainxODS initiative, led by CBCat in collaboration with the Generalitat de Catalunya, aims to familiarise students from diverse disciplines with blockchain technology while working in groups to respond to a real challenge directly linked to the SDGs.

The awarding ceremony was held as part of the “Inspira’t X Digitalitzar-te” event, a gathering aimed at inspiring professionals and keeping them updated on the latest trends in digital transformation, connecting them with innovation, marketing and creativity experts. At the ceremony, the SEA2SEE Hackathon showcased creative and forward-thinking solutions, making the decision challenging, as each group presented a unique and complementary perspective.

In the end, the Bluechain team, led by students Katia Ortega Haro from Pompeu Fabra University and Laura Martín Ortega from the University of Girona, were chosen as the winners. Their application, SEATRACE, is designed to facilitate the collection and exchange of traceability data within the European fishing industry, from the moment of fishing to consumption, allowing consumers to identify the product’s origin, treatment, and overall quality before purchasing it, integrating blockchain technology. The tool also looks to measure the impact on consumer behaviour. It is designed with scalability in mind to expand beyond a specific region or market and contribute also to other  SDGs related to food security and responsible consumption.

In addition to the impressive work from the winning team, the other participating groups — Four Eyed Team, Context Scholario, and Pibinhos — made remarkable contributions. Each group demonstrated a strong commitment to understanding consumer interests and behaviour and using blockchain in their models, bringing a unique perspective and approach to the challenge. Their proposals emphasised that technology should empower people to make informed decisions and enhance transparency in the seafood value chain without losing sight of tradition, territory, and respect for nature and the value of the ocean in our lives.

Ultimately, these results showcased the importance of a transdisciplinary approach to tackling complex challenges and serving as a tangible example of what can be achieved when creativity, knowledge and different disciplines are combined for a common goal.

As we wrap up the SEA2SEE Hackathon, the next important step is incorporating the teams’ innovative ideas into the SEA2SEE platform, advancing the project’s mission of promoting responsible seafood consumption and improving the engagement with creators, young generations and consumers in a co-creative way of looking for solutions to nowadays challenges.