AGRI-FOOD-TECH , the regional network of the Grand-Ouest, is organised in Angers for a more connected and sustainable agriculture.
L’he Agri-Food-Tech ecosystem in the Great West is organizing itself to build the responsible agriculture of tomorrow using digital technologies. Led in particular by Angers Loire Métropole, the Pays-de-la-Loire Region and the Pays-de-la-Loire Chamber of Agriculture, the Agri-Food-Tech regional network brings together all the innovative digital, technological and entrepreneurial initiatives in the agriculture and food sectors.
Users (agri/agro/vegetal actors), solution providers (companies providing technologies/services) and facilitators (teachers-researchers, economic development structures) are meeting in the framework of the second edition of the "Connected Week", a week dedicated to digital technology, which is being held until 25 November 2018 in Angers, to bring to life the current territorial dynamic and initiate new innovative projects.
The world of agriculture is increasingly integrating electronics and information technology.
The Agri-Food-Tech network wishes to federate the regional and national actors who are driving the transition towards more efficient and sustainable agriculture and a more qualitative food that respects consumer expectations, while creating conditions conducive to business development. Digital technology offers a solution to better organise this transition and create growth opportunities on local and international markets.
This digital revolution is in progress because agriculture is nowadays more and more based on electronics and computers. This is notably the case with milking robots, which make it possible to modify the constraints linked to twice-daily milking for farmers while producing data that is essential for good farm management (early detection of diseases, optimisation of feed rations). The large amount of available agricultural data opens up the field of possibilities: creation of new services, response to local needs and global issues, particularly in terms of optimised management of natural resources.
"Electronics will make agriculture more accurate, more productive, more sustainable while improving farmers' working conditions, says Hervé Pillaud, member of the National Digital Council.
Anjou, a region that has made innovation in plants its trademark
The Grand Ouest is France's leading agricultural and agri-food region. With more than 25,000 farms and 61,000 jobs, agriculture plays a major role in the region's economic dynamics. Local players have made innovation a major development axis for the sustainability of this ecosystem.
"Angers has recognised skills in the plant sector and Agri-Food-Tech is one of the fields of application that allows us to make the most of the territory's expertise in professional electronics and intelligent systems. The fusion of vegetal and digital technology is brought to life in numerous projects and events initiated locally". explains Jean-Pierre Bernheim, Vice-President of Economic Development for Angers Loire Métropole.
SIVAL, the Crop Production Techniques Exhibition, is a major venue for AgTech thanks to the offer of the 650 exhibitors present, the events organised (SIVAL Innovation competition, AGreenStartup competition, AgTechDataChallenge award ceremony), and the themes addressed in the conference programme.
AgTech is also integrated into the 2019-2022 roadmap of the VEGEPOLYS plant competitiveness cluster through the "New technologies and practices for production systems" axis. Objective: to develop viable technological bricks and tools to consolidate decisions and facilitate user actions in cultivation, harvesting and post-harvest operations. AgTech was also one of the themes of the Concours Végépolys initiated in 2016 on the theme: "New technologies for plant production: products or services using new technologies (digital, robotics, imaging, big data, connected agriculture, etc.) for more efficient and environmentally friendly plant production". A "Smart Agriculture" itinerary was also organised during the 2017 World Electronics Forum, in conjunction with the WE NETWORK Cluster and VEGEPOLYS.
Angers Technopole is also taking part in this dynamic with its acceleration programme called "Opération Renard", which, among other things, supports innovative projects in the field of connected agriculture.
The Ecole Supérieure d'Agricultures organized the 4th edition of the "Rendez-vous de l'agriculture connectée" (#esaconnect) on Wednesday 21 November, which analyses, from a sociological and economic perspective, the transformations of professions and the new forms of cooperation linked to the development of digital technology in the agricultural sector.
Finally, SOMINVAL, the semi-public company responsible for the development and management of the Val de Loire MIN, also offers premises for hosting FoodTech projects.
Far from being in competition, all these approaches complement each other to contribute to the influence of Anjou. "The Pays-de-la-Loire region also participates in European projects marked by the Agri-Food-Tech dynamic. This is notably the case of the "Traceability and big data" working group led by the "Agrifood" intelligent specialisation platform, or the Interreg "Regions 4Food" project, which aims to stimulate the digitalisation of agriculture and the agri-food industry. emphasises Laurent Prétrot, Vice-President for digital technologies of the Enterprise, International Development, Tourism, Innovation, Higher Education and Research Committee of the Pays de la Loire Region.