Five computer coders who called themselves Team Esoteric have come up with an app to help export Barbadian goods to the diaspora.
They were among four teams set the challenge of “optimizing shipping and logistics to connect Bajan products with diaspora markets” in a 36-hour Blue Flame Challenge hackathon organized by the Barbados Industrial Development Corporation (BIDC) and global computing giant, IBM.
The winning team, designed a complete web application to reduce the risk to local manufacturers when exporting their products while meeting production and distribution demands, said the Esoteric team’s spokesperson Renee Serrant-Layne.
“We came up with a complete end-to-end solution that takes into consideration several key links along the supply chain channel. That includes sourcing the raw materials, actual shipping and the production of the materials, as well as the distribution of the product.
“We used the language classification system from IBM Cloud and a product description of whatever product you are sending, to generate a harmonised code, because the harmonised code is what you generally need when you are exporting to help identify the product and which tariff should be applied to the product,” she said.
The entire process created a “thirst for more learning” for the team of coders, especially on the IBM Cloud platforms, to provide everyday solutions for “real life” challenges, said fellow team member, Christopher Lowe.
The winning team is to unveil the app at the Next Generation Innovators’ Forum during the Barbados Innovation Conference, to be held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Two Mile Hill, St Michael, from November 7 to 8.
Under the 2018 Blue Flame Challenge, artificial intelligence technology solutions were also sought for the ‘awareness of and engagement with Barbadian products’ and ‘exploring online versus offline behaviours of diaspora consumers’, according to a Government Information Service release.
Five members made up Team Esoteric: Renee Serrant-Layne, Al Pierre Lestrade, Christopher Lowe, Alex Carrington and Ann-Marie Gill. (BGIS)