The second edition of Startup Europe Smart Agrifood Summit will be held on June 20 and 21 June after the success of the 2018 event, bringing together more than 1,200 entities including entrepreneurs, investors, startups, companies and institutions associated with innovation and digitization in the agrifood sector. The event will address the new trends in major areas of operations such as food security, the opportunities arising from the use of disruptive technologies – blockchain, big data and robotics -, the exploration of new businesses, environmental development and the circular economy, among others
The new challenges facing the agrifood industry include the consolidation of the role of technologies and undertaking a commitment to R&D+I activities in the different production chains. As such, and with the aim of promoting the creation of innovation ecosystems in this sector, the first and highly successful Startup Europe Smart Agrifood Summit in 2018 attracted representatives from more than 350 companies and was attended by over 1,200 professionals from the field. The meeting, already acknowledged as one of the major international events geared to the digital transformation of the agrifood sector, will take place in Malaga on June 21 and 22. The event is jointly organised by FYCMA (Malaga Trade Fair and Congress Centre) and the European Foundation for Innovation (INTEC) with the support of the European Commission’s Startup Europe initiative.
One of the key principles of Startup Europe Smart Agrifood Summit is to promote the creation of ties between companies, universities, startups and investors with potential associates and innovation ecosystems from Europe and the Silicon Valley, with the aim of generating business and networking opportunities. As such, over a thousand work meetings were held in 2018, resulting in a turnover of over 200 million euros. Moreover, around 40% of the participating startup companies managed to obtain financing from one of the 50-plus investors present. Furthermore, it should be pointed out that approximately 24.7 billion euros were invested in 3,000 funding rounds in 2018, around 10% of which involved the agrifood sector, according to data published by the European Foundation for Innovation in Europe. Moreover, 50% of this investment is channeled into innovation and, as such, this issue will be addressed in depth at the coming event. In turn, the AgriTech sector amassed almost 1 billion euros of financing in Europe, which also accounts for 30% of the global funding of emerging companies, the foundation adds.
Hence, the event will enable professionals from the area to get to know the latest technologies applicable to the agrifood value chain. Without doubt, this is a meeting point for sharing innovative ideas and trends and for gaining access to the latest products and services associated with this industry. In addition, the event will promote the corporate and innovative growth of startups, EBTs and spin-offs by providing opportunities for development and access to investment funds. Major companies´ R&D departments are now beginning to invest over one-third of their budget in the acquisition of startups to ensure access to innovation and to place them on the market. It should be mentioned that Spain is ranked sixth in terms of investment in Europe, behind the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Israel and Switzerland.
Thus, Startup Europe Smart Agrifood Summit is geared to agricultural entities, companies from the agrifood industry or related to food safety, associated technology companies, investors, entrepreneurs, universities, research entities, public authorities, science and technology parks, business accelerators and incubators, among other professionals.
Moreover, the meeting is a key venue for training and learning and, as such, will be laid out in different work environments and areas to ensure the maximum recycling of knowledge. Therefore, the content will comprise a forum based on different thematic panels, in accordance with disruptive technologies applied to the sector – artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomous vehicles, big data, blockchain and cyber security -, environmental development and circular economy, food security, logistics chains and the generation of new business, among others. Furthermore, the event will feature a specific area for startups to present innovative projects and an area in which to make presentations to investment funds. Experts including Thomas Engel from the company John Deere, Misha Tripoli – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations -, Paimun Amini – Bayer Crop Science -, Andy Zynga -EIT Food-, Mihail Dumitru and Isidro Laso from the European Commission will all be taking part.
It should also be mentioned that companies and entities such as Agri Marketplace, Greenfield Technologies, Agricultural Robotics Laboratory, Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico Industrial (CDTI), Banco Sabadell and OdinS, Let’s Invent Smart Solutions, the University of Seville, Elaisian, the Polytechnic University of Valencia, the University of Murcia, AgroBank, Dattechs, Grupo La Caña, Nutrasign, Heimdall Technologies, the University of Malaga, Bio Azul, the Office of Patents and Brands – Ministry of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda -, Plantae and Conapa, Visualnacert, among others, have also confirmed their presence in the exposition area. Furthermore, the event will enjoy the noteworthy presence of PigChamp pro Europe.
Startup Europe Smart Agrifood Summit is organised jointly by FYCMA (Malaga Trade Fair and Congress Centre) and the European Foundation for Innovation (INTEC), and is promoted by the European Commission DG CONNECT ‘Startup Europe’ initiative within the framework of the Digital Single Market strategy.