From WIA Summit Europe: Ag Innovation Hour
By Michelle Pelletier Marshall, Women in Agribusiness Media (April 13, 2021)
Last month we held our second virtual Women in Agribusiness Summit Europe conference in “Paris”. We hope you joined us to hear about topics such as The Importance of Trade in Global Food Security, Building a Resilient Supply Chain, and Accelerating Trust in a Sustainable Future for Agri-Food. But if you didn’t, here’s a peek into the sector-disrupting products discussed during our ever-popular Ag Innovation Hour.
The hour-long session featured Rosalie Toth of Ipiit, Ariana Cohen of BioBee Biological Systems, and Pedro Coutinho, CEO of Olho do Dono. Said Summit host and director Joy O’Shaughnessy, “Innovation has a critical role to advancing all the agricultural segments. And we like to keep up-to-date with what's happening and bring you along and let you see a snippet of some of the great technologies, ideas and advancements that are happening out in the industry.”
Enjoy, and don't forget to join us in-person for the next Ag Innovation Hour, which will take place at our 10th anniversary Women in Agribusiness Summit, September 21-23, 2021 in Minneapolis.
Highlights from Rosalie Toth, co-founder of Ipiit The Food Ambassador, Sweden
Ipitt is a digital product discovery application platform that matches people with food, and food with people, based on their personalized preferences.
The product was born from an experience Toth, who has food allergies, had years ago while visiting Boston for a conference. Upon arrival from Sweden and looking for something to eat, she was faced with multiple new food choices and the drudgery of reading all the food labels before she could eat anything. Her friend Betty, who ended up being co-founder of Ipiit, said “wouldn’t it be great if all these products were tagged and could be ‘read’ by one’s phone and give a yes or no about it being safe to eat in regard to food allergies?”
The pair did their research in food, health, food allergies, and more, and with the advent of camera phones and the capability to scan bar codes, they got to work developing their product.
After securing money from angel investors, they started prototyping, testing, building, prototyping again, and retesting. Ipiit The Food Ambassador was born.
The app allows the user to scan packaging (bar codes) at the grocery store (the database contains more than 350,000 food products) and it will indicate if the item is safe to eat (based on one’s own personal preferences and/or food allergy listings input into the app) and identify the trigger ingredient(s) if it’s not safe.
Ipiit also lets users compare two products, suggests alternative products, saves the 50 most recent scans, and offers a feature where users can submit a new product if it does not currently exist in the database.
There are over 250,000 users of the app – most of them women.
Visit www.ipiit.com for more details.
Highlights from Ariana Cohen, CEO of BioBee Biological Systems, Israel
BioBee Biological Systems was born out of a vision to treat agriculture with a naturals approach using beneficial insects and bees. The company uses honeybees to pollinate crops, mainly trees and vegetables; they rear beneficial insects, such as the persimilis, to fight destructive insects; and are also working on solutions to battle the Mediterranean Fruit Fly, which is nuisance to agriculture around the globe. This includes research work that has allowed BioBee to sterilize the males and release them back into nature.
The global company rears its beneficial insects in Chile, Colombia, Israel, Russia, and South Africa.
They have a massive test program in the works for their projects surrounding IPM, Integrated Pest Management, as some problems in the field still need chemical spraying so they collaborate with farmers to add their beneficial insects into that mix.
BioBee has huge technologically-advanced greenhouses to grow the insects, and releases them mostly through airplanes.
Visit https://www.biobee.com/ for more information.
Highlights from Pedro Coutinho, CEO, Olho do Dono, Brazil
Olho do Dono offers a proprietary software that uses a portable 3D camera to calculate the weight of cattle onsite at a rate that is 10 times faster than the normal process and stress-free for the animal. The company’s mission is “to feed the world by improving livestock wellbeing and farm profitability while generating positive environmental impact.”
The technology combines AI, computer vision, and data science to calculate the animal’s weight, and can measure 200 animals in 10 minutes.
Since the camera is portable, it can be used wherever the animal happens to be. The animal simply has to walk past the camera, and its weight, along with hundreds of 3D images, is recorded, providing a slew of information to the rancher.
The user can access dashboards with recommendations on how to optimize weight gain and profitability, referring to the fact that the more the animal weighs, the more money it can fetch.
Normally animals are weighed about twice a year; this system lets them be weighed as much as needed to help monitor and better manage the cow’s health, genetic evolution, the right time to sell, and the financial value of the livestock.
The prototype was conceived in 2015, with beta testing in 2018 and sales to early adopters began in 2020.
Olho do Dono is now fundraising for $1 million to support their go-to-market strategy.
They have clients in the major Brazilian states and are working with one of the largest beef producers in the world, and have a pilot study underway to use the technology with pigs.
Their product is also being used in Paraguay, Argentina, and Mexico.
Olho do Dono was the winner of the first TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Latin America (2018), and winner of the best Brazilian agtech for three consecutive times: Intercorte 2018, Lide Agronegócio 2019, and Embrapa Siagro 2019.
Visit https://olhododono.agr.br/ for more information.
- Michelle Pelletier Marshall is contributing editor and author for HighQuest Group's GAI News and Oilseed & Grain News, and managing editor for its WIA Today blog. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.