With a rising middle class, changing food consumption patterns, and land scarcity, we need new solutions to improve food productivity sustainably. The Future Food Asia event will showcase the top eight startups from across Asia Pacific which are creating solutions to tackle issues present and predicted in the food industry. It will also host panel discussions on investing in foodtech and agritech as well as on innovation in the food value chain.
Organized by ID Capital, and supported by the Economic Development Board of Singapore and leader Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM), Future Food Asia will be the region’s first-of-its-kind to bring together a community of investors, corporates, governments, academics and entrepreneurs. Future Food Asia is born out of the belief that challenges facing agriculture are often region specific, and thus, the best minds to tackle these problems can be found within local teams.
Startup applications for the innovation award began in January and closed on April 5, 2017. There was an overwhelming response, with startups from 19 different countries applying. This highlights the relevance of a regional platform that can give critical mass to this growing industry vertical. All applicants will benefit from the platform as it connects startups with investors and multinational companies on an ongoing basis.
The winning startup will receive a grant of USD 100,000. The selection of the final eight was done by a jury panel consisting of four highly experienced and yet diversified jury members. The panel had Gérard Jacquin a retired Director of Partnerships, Transfer and Innovation at INRA, Europe’s leading agricultural research institute; Dr. Ralph Graichen the Director of Food and Nutrition at A*STAR’s Biomedical Research Council; Victoria de la Huerga the Vice President of ADM Ventures, Archer Daniels Midland Company; and Isabelle Decitre the Founder and CEO of ID Capital.
Isabelle Decitre said: “The jury had the tough task of shortlisting eight finalists amongst an extremely strong talent pool. Startups in the region were addressing both issues specific to Asia Pacific as well as tackling some perennial global issues. The diversity of the applicants, both in terms of country of provenance, professional background and typology of innovation, confirmed the need for a platform for agritech and foodtech entrepreneurs in the region. Not only does the platform startups connect among themselves, but also to form strategic partnerships with the larger corporate and financial community that can help propel their growth. We believe that our platform can significantly contribute in the development of the essential ecosystem for agriculture and food technologies to flourish in the region.”
“These semifinalists offer an array of innovative solutions to the challenges we all face in feeding a growing global population,” said Ian Pinner, Archer Daniels Midland Company’s President for Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and Global Destination Marketing. “The way food is grown, distributed and developed is evolving with different regional food cultures and the demand for healthier, higher nutrition diets. ADM is proud to be part of discovering new innovations to address our future food challenges here in Asia Pacific by sponsoring this important competition and supporting the innovators who are spearheading these important changes.”
The event will be hosted on 26th May 2017 at Tanglin Club in Singapore. Registrations are open online.
Overview of the 8 finalists
1. Agrint [USA]
Agrint has built a solution aimed against any tree borers and especially the Red Palm Weevil – the most harmful and undetectable pest to Palm and Coconut trees worldwide. They were able to transform military grade technology and apply it to the world of precision agriculture. Agrint has developed a low-cost and low-energy unique sensor, which can be installed on any tree and transmit real-time early detection notifications as pests penetrate it. Allowing farmers to save the trees from any damage, increase the efficiency of pesticide management and eliminate the costly replacements of dead trees.
2. Bethesda Scientific [Taiwan]
Bethesda Scientific has built a solution to protect rice seedlings from pests with minimal impact of the surrounding ecology. Their unique encapsulation technology allows for controlled release of the active agent over a prolonged period of time.
3. Biolight Corporation [Korea]
Biolight manufactures veterinary medical devices that use visible light to increase productivity and immunity of livestock. The solution aims to maximize yield with minimal feed cost, feed additives and antibiotic injections.
4. Doux Matok [Israel]
DouxMatok is a food-tech company providing targeted delivery of flavor ingredients, such as sugar and salt, enabling healthier consumption of foods without compromising taste. They offer sugar and salt reduction solutions, enabling use of 20%-50% less of these ingredients in multiple applications, while retaining identical taste and sensory profiles with no aftertastes. Following successful pilots, the company partnered with leading multinational Food & Beverages companies to develop applications based on its sugars, and is expected to scale-up production and commercialize its products by mid-2018.
5. Eruvaka Technologies [India]
Eruvaka is an aquaculture IoT company. They have developed connected devices and mobilebased decision tools for affordable monitoring and automation of aquaculture farms. This significantly reduces cultivation risk and increases feed efficiency, while enabling higher stocking densities, delayed harvest, and increased profitability.
6. Farm Friend [China]
FarmFriend is the Uber of agricultural drone services. They have built a scheduling system to match farmers needing spraying services with drone pilots. In the long run, based on geographical and customer data collected, they aspire to become the leading platform that offers customized and specialized farming services.
7. Smart Animal Husbandry Care [Singapore]
SAHC provides e-traceability capabilities for pig farmers. Their technology optimizes productivity yield of pigs through predictive analytics, and caters to a rapidly growing market – the market size of pork in China is more than twice that of its mobile phone market.
8. String Bio [India]
String Bio applies a biological conversion process to convert methane gas to various value added products including single cell protein used for animal feed. String’s technology leverages advances in synthetic biology, fermentation technology, chemistry and process engineering to produce a reliable and cost-effective protein.