Welcome to mining the green gold from greenhouse biomass! 

At Võiste Hackathon we invite you to offer solutions how to extract more value from greenhouse products and residual flows whilst producing in a cleaner way. We are open to exploring new business opportunities and research collaborations.

What is the challenge about?

Võiste Greenhouse is the largest tomato producer in Estonia, with about 7000 square metres of growing area. This rural horticulture company has been growing vegetables for the past 60 years, last 20 of which operating as a family business. Every year, from April to October, up to 50 tons per season of biomass consisting of roots, stems, leaves and non-standard tomatoes (5-7 tons per month) is produced and needs to be disposed of. 

Today, this residual biomass is turned into compost at the company’s production compound, but in order to become more sustainable and speed up its circular transition, the company is looking for new technologies, solutions and partnerships to turn the residual biomass into valuable resources.

Making use of residual biomass from greenhouses is a challenge, but also provides opportunities to set up new value chains. A lot can be obtained from biomass: salts for fertilisers, organic matter or biostimulants for growing media, fibre for packaging and building materials, proteins for food and feed, aromas and dyes for the cosmetics industry and medicinal compounds for the pharmaceutical industry, to name just a few (read more). We want to explore the many ways of extracting value from horticultural residue.

Võiste Greenhouse

Read more about Võiste Greenhouse

Looking For

What is Võiste Greenhouse looking for?

Selection criteria

Following aspects will be considered

Why should You participate in the Võiste Hackathon?

Depending on the level of development of the proposed ideas/solutions, participants in the Võiste Hackathon will have the chance for either business cooperation or the initiation of joint projects or pilots to test their presented concepts.

As a finalist, you will also get to:

  • establish cooperation and network with other companies and specialists with interest in the same field
  • establish international contacts and connections in the field of your interest
  • test your ideas with feedback from a potential client and dis-cover how to match your idea/solution with the needs of the end-users
  • develop the commercialization potential of your idea and dis-cover new business opportunities with expert mentors’ sup-port
  • get international recognition and visibility for your teams’ know-how.


February 15
10.00 CET / 11:00 EET
Launch webinar and challenge announcment

The launch webinar was a great opportunity to get insight into what kind of green gold can be mined by extracting value from biomass. We learned more about the scope of the challenge and detailed schedule of the hackathon process. Practical tips about the applying process and participation in Võiste Hackathon were also covered. PROGRAM:

  • 11.00-11.10 Welcome - Toomas Toodu /moderator, Pärnu County Development Centre 
  • 11.10-11.40 Extracting Value from Biomass - Reelika Rätsep (Phd), Scientific Researcher at Estonian University of Life Sciences see video here;
  •  11.40-12.00 Upcycling for a better plate? - Mariliis Mia Topp, Co-Founder @ Raw Edge see video here;
  • 12.00-12.20 Presentation of the Challenge for Võiste Greenhouse - Mirko Metsaoru, Owner @ Võiste Greenhouse see video here;
  •  12.20-12.30 The BioBoosters concept - Anna Aalto, Jyväskylä University of Applied Science see video here;
  • Q&A
March 22
16.00 CET / 17.00 EET
Deadline for submitting an application

The application includes your preliminary idea proposal and a short description of the expertise in your team.

March 26
16.00 CET / 17.00 EET
Selection of teams is published
April 12
13.00 CET / 14.00 EET
Kick-off event of the Võiste Hackathon

Organized as an online event, where participating teams will meet each other and representatives of Võiste Greenhouse to hear more about the challenge and expectations of Võiste Greenhouse. Teams will present their preliminary ideas and get feedback for further development.

May 16-17
Hackathon Days:
  • consultation of the idea/solution with all mentors (5 – 10 experts and practitioners)
  • preparation of the final version of the presented idea/solution
  • presentation of the idea/solution by teams/individual innovators.

Have a solution?

More information


Võiste Hackathon will be organized by Pärnu County Development Centre in its Business Incubator (Ringi 35, Pärnu, Estonia). The program will start in the afternoon of 16/05 with mentoring for the participant teams and networking in the evening. On 17/05, there will be a pitching session with presentations on teams’ solution proposals to Võiste Greenhouse. After Jury deliberation, winner(s) are announced. If you are not able to travel onsite, online participation is also possible.

Svea Uusen, Pärnu County Development Centre, svea@parnumaa.ee, +372 5051 797
Mirko Metsaoru, Võiste Greenhouse, mirko.metsaoru@gmail.com, +372 5344 3610

Pärnu County Development Centre steers the development of Pärnu County, develops entrepreneurship, youth entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial educa-tion, and civic engagement. We are part of the nationwide network of county development centres all over Estonia. The regional Innovation Hub, which con-nects the various business development and educational competencies of Pärnu County and is implemented based on the triple helix innovation model, is a fu-ture-oriented development accelerator for the whole region of Western Estonia, with focus on facilitating green transition and sustainable development, including circular bioeconomy and renewable energy. We are based in Pärnu, Estonia, but connected worldwide.

See our website

Pärnu County Development Centre

In collaboration with:

JAMK, Jyväskylä University of Applied Science has long experience in organizing hackathons. BioBoosters by JAMK is a Bioeconomy Business Accelerator that aims to create new businesses and globally significant solutions to combat climate change in the international bioeconomy environment. BioBoosters by JAMK’s key tasks are to develop business within bioeconomy and create sustainable business based on new innovations, utilizing new technologies and digitalization, developing abilities and know-how, and building business networks and ecosystems.

Bioboosters project network supports Võiste Hackathon via communication and marketing cooperation. The network features 9 prominent bioeconomy innovation hubs around the Baltic Sea – from Finland, Sweden, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. The BioBoosters project will organize a total of 18 Hackathons to support the sustainability mission of the bioeconomy companies. The project is co-funded via the Interreg BSR program and the European Regional Development Fund.

Võiste Hackathon is implemented and supported as part of the project “BioBoosters – boosting the circular transition“. The aim of this international project is to increase the level of innovation of entrepreneurs in the field of bioeconomy and circular economy.

#bioeconomy #circulareconomy #innovations 

Võiste Greenhouse - the innovative producer of tomatoes in Estonia

With the ever-growing emphasis on short supply chains and lowering our carbon footprint, the market for local produce is growing. Võiste’s main difference from imported tomatoes is freshness and a short logistics chain, as it ensures that the tomatoes reach store shelves 1-2 days after picking. The company also use biological plant protection products to keep the tomatoes healthy and pick them as ripe as possible – this way the taste-binding properties are also preserved.

Smart production

The resource intensive horticulture sector has witnessed drastically increased production costs in recent years, and as the local growing conditions cannot compete with the sunny and warm climate of Western and Southern Europe, Võiste Greenhouse has become focused on smart production and invested in reducing production costs through automation and precision fertilization. Through its spin-off companies Tami Automatics and TAMIATICS, it has initiated research collaboration with various universities and its production site also serves as a living lab for R&D activities.

What is Võiste Greenhouse looking for?

Võiste Greenhouse is looking for economically feasible valorisation of horticultural residue biomass to increase its circular transition. Valorisation can be achieved by both high-tech and low-tech solutions, preferably to be realised on-site.

In case of further use as material (e.g. as building material, chemical feedstock, fertilizer, soil improver) or as food or feed, off-site solutions in partnerships are also welcome. The goal is to implement greenhouse horticulture that not only contributes through the end product, but also valorises its residual flows and where local, renewable sources are used and material cycles are closed, possibly in collaboration with other sectors.

The company is interested in solutions providers who can offer innovative concepts, technologies, and equipment to effectively utilize the specified residues. The company’s interest ranges from discovering new business opportunities to potentially establishing partnerships in research projects.

Selection criteria

Võiste Hackathon’s aim is to look into the state-of-art use of horticultural biomass streams for local solutions and to identify potential markets that can benefit from horticultural by-products, including, but not limited to: nutritional use, pharmaceutical use and material use. The seasonal availability and quality of the biomass streams, heterogeneity of the material, as well as possible accumulation of plant protection residues must be accounted for.

In evaluating the proposed ideas/solutions, the following aspects will be considered:

• innovativeness of the idea/solution
• economic viability of the idea/solution when applied by Võiste Greenhouse
• technical feasibility of the idea/solution when applied at the company’s operations
• environmental impact of the solution
• valorization potential of the side streams by level of added value created from the biomass
• compliance with the regulatory requirements in Estonia.

The hackathon is free of charge and open to all innovators, including individuals, entrepreneurs, student start-ups and academic/scientific/research entities.

Rahvatervise komisjon

  1. Priit Ruut – komisjoni esimees, Tori valla abivallavanem
  2. Helve Reisenbuk, Häädemeeste humanitaarvaldkonna abivallavanem
  3. Saima Soobard, Lääneranna valla lastekaitse spetsialist
  4. Kairi Gustavson, Tori valla rahvatervise spetsialist
  5. Veera Leas, Kihnu vallavolikogu esimees
  6. Marija Andrekson, Pärnu linna rahvatervise spetsialist
  7. Marina Raid, Saarde valla sotsiaalnõunik
  8. Maarja Säde, Põhja-Pärnumaa valla kultuuri- ja spordispetsialist
  9. Ly Akenpärg, Pärnu linna TEL võrgustiku koordinaator
  10. Kristi Kuusmik-Orav, TET võrgustiku koordinaator Pärnus
  11. Kaisa Aasa, Pärnumaa Spordiliidu tegevjuht
  12. Grete Arumäe, Päästeameti Lääne päästekeskuse Pärnumaa päästepiirkonna peaspetsialist
  13. Sirli Tallo, Transpordiamet ennetustöö osakonna ekspert
  14. Karin Uibo, PPA Lääne prefektuuri Pärnu politseijaoskonna piirkonnavanem
  15. Hiie Lainela, Pärnumaa Kodukant ja Punane Rist
  16. Karmen Vesselov, Kaitseliidu Pärnumaa maleva esindaja
  17. Anna-Liisa Delgado, Pärnu Haigla sotsiaalravi teenistuse juhataja
  18. Margit Seppik, Pärnu Haigla Sisekliiniku Õendushooldus Keskuse juhataja
  19. Madli Murumaa, POL maakonna haridusasutuste tervisedenduse spetsialist


  1. Marko Šorin – komisjoni esimees, Põhja-Pärnumaa valla abivallavanem
  2. Siim Suursild, Häädemeeste ehitusvaldkonna abivallavanem 
  3. Martin Tee, Lääneranna valla abivallavanem 
  4. Toomas Parm, Tori valla taristu nõunik 
  5. Egon Vohu, Kihnu valla vallavanem 
  6. Martti Rooden, Saarde valla haldusnõunik
  7. Toomas Tammela, Pärnu linna taristu- ja ehitusteenistuse liikluse spetsialist 
  8. Avo Rahu, Pärnumaa Ühistranspordikeskuse vanemlogistik 
  9. Tõnu Kivis, PPA Lääne prefektuuri Pärnumaa piirkonnagrupi piirkonnavanem 
  10. Renee Tammet, Päästeameti Lääne päästekeskuse Pärnumaa päästepiirkonna juhataja 
  11. Hannes Vaidla, Transpordiameti taristu ehitamise ja korrashoiu Lääne üksuse juhataja 
  12. Sirli Tallo, Transpordiameti ennetustöö osakonna ekspert 
  13. Jaak Saard, Transpordiameti taristu ehitamise ja korrashoiu Lääne üksuse liikluskorraldaja 

Turvalisuse nõukogu

  1. Eiko Tammist – komisjoni esimees, Saarde vallavolikogu esimees  
  2. Külliki Kiiver, Häädemeeste vallavanem
  3. Egon Vohu, Kihnu valla vallavanem
  4. Ingvar Saare, Lääneranna valla vallavanem
  5. Marko Šorin, Põhja-Pärnumaa valla majandusvaldkonna abivallavanem
  6. Karmo Näkk, Pärnu linna linnavara- ja heakorrateenistuse juhataja
  7. Lauri Luur,  Tori valla vallavanem
  8. Hiie Lainela, Pärnumaa Kodukant
  9. Kalev Kaljuste, Regionaal- ja põllumajandusministeerium kohalike omavalitsuste poliitika osakond Pärnumaa ja Raplamaa piirkonna juht
  10. Katrin Tamm, Terviseameti Lääne regionaalosakonna vaneminspektor
  11. Renee Tammet, Päästeameti Lääne päästekeskuse Pärnumaa päästepiirkonna juhataja
  12. Toomas Õmblus, Keskkonnaameti Pärnu büroo juhataja
  13. Raigo Paimla, Kaitseliidu Pärnumaa maleva pealik
  14. Veiko Germann, Kaitsepolitseiameti Lääne osakonna direktor
  15. Üllar Kütt, Pärnu politseijaoskonna juht
  16. Kristel Toming, Lääne ringkonnaprokuratuuri juhtivprokurör
  17. Marit Õun, Pärnu Haigla EMO teenistuse juhataja
  18. Taavi Tamberg, usuühenduste esindaja
  19. Tiina Ruul, Sotsiaalkindlustusameti ohvriabi talituse Pärnu piirkonna juht
  20. Raivo Lumiste, Pärnu linnavalitsuse elanikonnakaitse ja kriisivalmiduse koordinaator
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