Prize winning student’s ideas to safeguard dairy supply

Adnan Naim-Eskitis Institute-Griffith University_2013
Adnan Naim, PhD student at the Eskitis Institute, Griffith University

A Griffith University research student has received second prize in an Incentive Challenge to improve Global Dairy Data Collection.

Adnan Naim, a PhD student at Griffith’s Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery received $1,875 for his innovative cloud-based ‘Dairy Calendar’ proposal.

Scientists Without Borders and The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science, both programs of the New York Academy of Sciences, partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to announce the student winners of their $7,500 open innovation challenge.

The challenge sought ideas to significantly improve the measurement, aggregation, and sharing of data associated with smallholder farmer dairy production in developing countries.

Dairy foods, especially milk, can play an important role in providing essential nutrients to infants and children; however, dairy comprises less than 10% of total energy intake in many developing countries.

Adnan has proposed a cloud-based intuitive visual calendar that would help dairy farmers collect and store information on feed, milk volume of milk and destination.

Data would be uploaded to a cloud storage system and accessible to researchers and policymakers.

Director of the Eskitis Institute, Professor Ronald J Quinn AM, said the award for Adnan’s innovative idea was a welcome acknowledgement of the diversity of work and knowledge development that the Eskitis Institute advocates.

“Adnan’s proposal utilises contemporary technology to map and solve issues that could benefit communities all over the world. This strongly aligns with the Institute’s focus on improving Global Health,” Professor Quinn said.

Strategic Development Manager with the Eskitis Institute Dr Stuart Newman suggested that Adnan’s proposal could also have broader applications in other areas of agriculture.

“Adnan’s proposal solves the problem of poor dairy farming data due to limited literacy and computer literacy in the developing world,” said Dr Newman.

Adnan said the inspiration for his ideas came from a global outlook on science.

“Being passionate about solving scientific problems and also a member of many scientific challenge organizations, I see science not only confined to four walls of a laboratory, but also how science can be applied to the outside world and can have a constructive and positive impact.”

Adnan’s idea competed with 38 other proposals submitted from 17 nations and the winners were chosen by an independent expert selection panel convened by Scientists Without Borders.

The judges noted that the winning solutions demonstrated novel incentives for data reporting and sharing across geographies.