A NEW AgriTech challenge has been launched with a £5000 cash prize.
The Digging for Innovation Challenge incentivises innovators working on tools and approaches that address the issues of soil health and productivity across the agricultural sectors.
With agriculture recognised as the biggest driver of land conversion and biodiversity loss, this competition supports the development of new technology and farming practices.
Organised by AgriTech incubator Farm491, and sponsored by BASF, shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend a bootcamp where they will work with Innovation Specialist Sarah Carr, to build a strong pitch, focused on their vision and why their solution is unique. They will also join a session with BASF’s Agriculture Sustainability Manager, Mike Green (pictured) and Independent Soil Scientist Jenni Dungait to look at the soil challenges currently faced by the industry.
Farm491 Centre and Events Manager, Verity Payne is coordinating the challenge.
She said: “With a world population expected to reach over 9 billion by 2050, much of the current debate around the future of farming focuses on the duality of sustainably providing enough nutritious food for this growing population, whilst conserving the natural resource base upon which we are all dependent. Initiatives such as this Challenge Prize are designed to give a ‘leg-up’ to those companies working on novel solutions to the issue of productivity vs biodiversity.”
BASF’s Market Manager for Agricultural Solutions and Services, Louis Wells, is excited to see what new ideas will be presented,
“Innovation is at the forefront of our work at BASF, ensuring that we continue to develop and deliver solutions and services that are fit for the future. This means they need to be practical for use, have longevity and complement the existing portfolio of tools that are on offer to farmers.
“Whether your idea is new or existing but requires further development, we want to hear from you. Soil is our most precious asset on-farm and we need to do everything we can to protect it for future generations.”
In addition to the cash prize, the winner will receive 12 months of business support and mentoring from Farm491.
The deadline for applications is 15th November, following a shortlisting period, six finalists will be selected and invited to attend the bootcamp. The final pitch will take place in January 2021 when a panel of industry experts will interview each finalist.
To find out more or to apply, visit https://farm491.com/digging-for-innovation/