Yesterday, the Demo Day in Vienna marked the end of this year's Acceleration Programme organised by Agro Innovation Lab (AIL), the joint innovation platform of BayWa AG and RWA Raiffeisen Ware Austria AG. In front of around 180 guests, the six winning start-ups demonstrated the wide range of European AgTech innovations from areas as diverse as sustainable food packaging made from straw, sensor-controlled fitness trackers for horses and a spray that reduces nitrogen emissions from plants.
"Agro Innovation Lab is unique in Europe in its approach to promoting ground-breaking innovations along the agricultural value chain", says Klaus Josef Lutz, Chief Executive Officer of BayWa AG. "For the third time now, we have supported start-ups in making their ideas accessible to agriculture. A win-win situation for progress, the start-ups and the farmers on whose behalf we work."
"From a large pool of applications this time we found what we were looking for mainly in Europe", says David Saad, CEO of AIL. "This shows there is huge potential on our continent that we can use to proactively shape the future of agriculture and make innovations available to farmers in our home markets at an early stage."
Results of the six winning start-ups
Biorfarm from Italy offers an online platform for the direct marketing of fruit. Fruit trees can be adopted which allows production processes to be tracked. In cooperation with AIL, the platform was adapted to the Austrian market and launched in the market in the pilot region of Vienna.
Cabasus from Germany has developed the first sensor-based tracker for horses which enables the activity and health of the animals to be permanently monitored and displayed on a mobile phone via an app. As part of the Acceleration Programme, a joint business model for the German and Austrian markets was developed and work started on extending the app to include a feed recommendation.
Crop Intellect from the UK develops innovative liquid foliar fertilisers which, as additives, increase the effectiveness of existing products, for example with regard to increasing yields. This includes a spray that reduces nitrogen emissions from plants. The recent months have been used to launch final product tests in German-speaking countries in 2019, to prepare market entry in Austria and Central East Europe and to initiate cooperations.
Insylo from Spain offers a cost-effective way to measure the fill level in fodder silos and to automatically trigger refilling using a sensor and the corresponding software. During the winter months, a pilot test with farmers was carried out. A business model was developed on the basis of a detailed market analysis.
Landpack from Germany convinced AIL with food packaging made of 100 % straw fibres, an environmentally friendly alternative to styrofoam. In cooperation with AIL, scenarios for a sustainable expansion of production capacities were developed using the extensive network of BayWa and RWA. In addition, the applicability of the technology in related areas, for example in the building materials sector, was tested and a pilot test for a pet product was started.
Vitirover from France offers solar-powered and networked fleets of mower robots as a service for the chemical-free maintenance of agricultural areas. Areas of application include vineyards, orchards, photovoltaic parks and railway embankments. In cooperation with AIL, the first steps for entering the German and Austrian markets were prepared.
With 252 start-ups from 53 countries, the 2018 round of applications has seamlessly followed on from last year's success. Since AIL was founded in 2016, more than 650 start-ups from around 70 countries have applied to participate in the Acceleration Programme.
Picture (© Wolfography, reproduction free of charge)
The AIL-team with the start-ups, mentors and other companions of the Acceleration Program 2018 in the context of the DemoDay
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