Robots used as an alternative to glyphosate, sensors for monitoring animal health, organic food packaging made from straw: Agro Innovation Lab (AIL), the joint innovation platform of BayWa and RWA Raiffeisen Ware Austria, has chosen the best AgTech start-ups of 2018 and their innovations. Over the next five months, the six start-ups selected will go through the AIL Acceleration & Market Entry Programme with the aim of expanding their business on a national and international basis. They will be supported by internal and external mentors as well as having access to the broad international network of BayWa and RWA.
"Our Start-Up Acceleration Programme is the first in Europe to be developed and offered by a company in the agricultural sector," explains Klaus Josef Lutz, Chief Executive Officer of BayWa AG. "It is an important tool for discovering and helping to shape innovative ideas for the benefit of our customers. If an innovation fits well into BayWa's portfolio and the start-up wants it, then we will also start discussions about the possibility of an investment or cooperation."
The start-ups accepted into this year's Acceleration & Market Entry Programme cover a great variety of agricultural topics. "The great variety demonstrates how diverse innovations in the agricultural sector are and how much potential the industry has," says David Saad, Managing Director of AIL.
Biorfarm from Italy offers an online platform for the direct marketing of agricultural products, for example by providing fruit trees for adoption.
Cabasus from Germany enables horse owners to track the fitness and health of their animals by means of a sensor fitted to the hoof.
Crop Intellect Ltd from the UK has developed a spray for application on plant leaves that reduces nitrogen emissions.
Insylo from Spain is able to detect the filling level in feed silos in real time and automatically trigger refilling using a sensor and the corresponding software.
The Munich-based company Landpack has developed organic food packaging based on straw fibres.
Vitirover from France offers solar-powered and networked herds of mower robots as a service – for the organic and chemical-free maintenance of areas such as vineyards, orchards, photovoltaic parks, railway embankments or high-voltage power stations.
650 start-ups from 70 countries since 2016
With 252 start-ups from 53 countries, this year's round of applications has seamlessly followed on from last year's success. Since the AIL was founded in 2016, more than 650 start-ups from around 70 countries have applied to participate in the Acceleration programme. Ten start-up companies have successfully completed the programme. For two start-ups from the first round, this has led to an investment or a cooperation with BayWa and RWA. In addition, the AIL is currently negotiating investments or cooperations with three further companies from the 2017 programme.
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Antje Krieger, BayWa AG, Head of PR/Corporate Communications/Public Affairs