11 July 2024

Two Thai engineers won the 2022 APEC App Challenge, held in Thailand, early this week during the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade meeting.

The winners are Palakon Kotchapansompote and Peerawit Tungwongsin as they beat 28 developers from across the Asia-Pacific region with an app that can help reduce food waste.

The duo created Kitchen@Venture, a digital tool designed for consumers and restaurant owners that offers healthy meal choices from local, high-value producers and suggests quality meals.

Users can take a photo of food in their fridge, upload it via the app and receive suggestions for healthy alternatives based on what is available.

The winning app successfully met this year’s challenge by demonstrating a new and exceptionally creative digital solution that helps to promote inclusive growth and the bio-circular-green (BCG) economy – a vision which Thailand is promoting as part of its recovery strategy towards more inclusive, balanced and sustainable growth.

“The world, as you know at the moment, is faced with issues of sustainable development, and climate change,” said Thani Thongphakdi, Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Chair of the APEC 2022 Senior Officials. “The App Challenge is very instrumental in encouraging youth to play a more pivotal role in society, in development and how to draw on and use digital technology.”

“This is really an innovation to enable us to engage with youth, to show how technology can be used to bridge development gaps,” said Dr. Rebecca Sta Maria, Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat.

In its sixth year, the 2022 APEC App Challenge invited young developers and digital entrepreneurs from across the region to build new mobile and web tools to promote growth among APEC’s eco-friendly, small and micro-agricultural farms and entrepreneurs in the sustainable agri-food sector.

APEC 2022 host economy Thailand based the competition’s theme on a key priority for the forum this year: “Balance in all aspects,” with a focus on engaging the whole of the society and using innovation as a key driver.

Fourteen developer teams from Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the Philippines, the United States and Vietnam took part in the competition.

One of the winners, Palakon Kotchapansompote said, “We will seek somewhere to get support and hope it becomes really big, so it can actually help people.”

Second prize went to Agri Automations, created by Michael Bauer and Matt Cabanag from Australia, a tool that diagnoses crop diseases by uploading a photo via a mobile phone. Third prize went to Daanish Husain and Brandon Him from the US, who developed “Sprout”, an app that connects and groups farmers to increase revenue by creating scale.

The APEC App Challenge is a joint initiative of APEC Thailand and the APEC Secretariat, with support from The Asia Foundation and Google.

The host of APEC 2022, Thailand announced that the annual APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting will take place on 18 and 19 November in Bangkok.