CHAP members Fotenix; FungiAlert and Small Robot Company were among the selected start-ups, alongside Agribot; Crop Intellect; Deep Planet and HayBeeSee.
The breadth and level of innovation presented is a testimony to the UK and Ireland dedication to bringing game changing solutions to help the Agrifood sector overcome challenges such as climate change and become more resilient.
CHAP’s Dr Aurélie Bovi and Dr Alex McCormack were part of the technical jury and confirmed it was a very difficult decision to award select an overall winner from such strong contestants. Here is a summary of the innovations presented:
Quest UK-Ireland selection laureate Crop Intellect impressed the jury with its ‘R-Leaf’ solution that enable plants to directly capture air pollutant nitrogen oxide (NOx) from the atmosphere and convert it into plant feed (nitrogen). The results are a significant reduction in atmospheric NOx without need of external energy input and a crop yield increase while reducing the need for fertilisers.
Small Robot Company and HayBeeSee both presented different and novel approaches to AgRobotics. Small Robot Company aims to revolutionise arable farming with its ‘per plant farming’ approach with the help of its specialised small robots fleet (Tom , Dick and Harry) and intelligence platform (Wilma). HayBeeSee’s ‘CropHopper’ light jumping robot allows for intensive, real-time precision weed and disease scouting throughout the crop growing season (including early detection of blackgrass) covering 70Ha/day.
Agribot and Deep Planet, have both developed Artificial Intelligence (AI) platforms using satellite data combined with other sources (camera; sensors) and bespoke algorithms to provide early-warning systems and precision information to support farmers with their decision process. Agribot is working with farms of all sizes to develop their platform and technology to ensure it is accessible to all and covers arable crops. Deep Planet’s elegant platform on the other hand is dedicated to the viticulture sector, and also works with commercial growers.
Fotenix introduced its versatile diagnostic hardware tailored to plants and crops to detect a wide range of factors – from crop ripeness to disease emergence – depending on needs. Its sophisticated and robust spectral imaging technology and analytics platform integrates with farm providers systems to bring direct decision-support to growers without the need for them to multiply subscriptions.
FungiAlert presented an innovative soil microbial sensor, SporSenZ, that can sample active and dominant soil microbes in-field. Using screening trials of crop lands worldwide, FungiAlert has also built a microbial library and will use it to develop new biostimulant and biocontrol products.
The Quest EuroTour 2020-2021 will end with the closing ceremony (virtual) event on 22nd April 2021, where the laureates from the seven Europeans regions will pitch their project once again. CHAP’s International Business Development Manager, Dr Jenna Ross will take part as the UK representative to give a perspective on the UK Agritech landscape. You can now register to take part.
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