Combining sensor and data with algorithms to allow precision agriculture
Agranimo is one of the startups that participated in the sixth intake of our Accelerator Program at the Innovation Center in Darmstadt in 2018. After completing the intake, Agranimo extended their participation in the Program for three more months in what became a fascinating journey for them and for us into the world of agricultural science and future-ready innovation.
Predicting how crops can best grow has been a part of farming life from the very beginning. Agranimo is helping bring this science to new efficient and sustainable heights via microclimate characterization services. Their platform combines sensor data, weather forecasts, satellite- and drone images with machine learning to detect all changes in the soil and microclimate. The collected data is then analyzed to define the best management thresholds for every field sector.
Collaboration between Agranimo and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
“Personally, working with the Innovation Center was a great experience, and I was able to learn from incredibly smart and creative people. From the very beginning, we worked very closely with them which made it easier to dive deep into the innovation ecosystem and find the projects where we could add value.”
(Nikita Gulin, CEO and founder of Agranimo)
Agranimo had multiple opportunities to collaborate with our company so far and even had the chance to participate in the so-called “Centrifuge initiative”: a bootcamp that brings our Accelerator startups and our company together for co-collaboration on internal projects and one of our many offers to ensure a mutually profitable partnership. For example, one of the projects Agranimo collaborated with, included the construction of a farm to jointly conduct several studies. The objective was to test different key parameters for the internal project, as well as conduct market research to predict the commercialization of the new product that was being developed at the Innovation Center. During this time, Agranimo provided support and helped with preparatory procedures. Moreover, in the meantime, Agranimo also worked very closely with internal teams in bringing the subject of agriculture and new farming challenges to the forefront of the different innovation topics being discussed at our company.
And now, the collaboration is entering a new stage with a very exciting project in which the Innovation Center is exploring a completely untapped market: the use of fluorescent materials in precision farming. Researchers are investigating whether our innovative fluorescent material influences the light spectrum, thus positively affecting the rate of plant growth and increasing yield.
Carrying out extensive field tests with Agranimo
The experiments and research within our Innovation Center project, were promising. Nevertheless, light spectrums differ around the world, and planting and cultivation techniques also vary from country to country. Adding to the challenge was the fact that winter was coming to Europe, which meant there was going to be too little sunshine to support the experiments. Therefore, the project was expanded in order to conduct tests in different countries (more specifically, in 13 time zones and four regions) to monitor plant growth with our company´s phosphors.
In making this possible, those responsible at the Innovation Center had to find partners all around the world. Nikita Gulin, CEO of the startup Agranimo, was our first partner, who onboarded! This was in part due to Agranimo’s in-depth knowledge of the Chilean agricultural ecosystem and the country’s optimal growing seasons.
Since then, Agranimo has continued to contribute to this thrilling project, carrying out extensive tests in Chile, while working closely with our colleagues. During the collaboration, Agranimo was able to take things beyond the lab stage in order to validate the product in comprehensive field essays. And that´s just the beginning because Agranimo and our company have already begun to set the stage for further development in this highly promising and essential sector.
All these interactions and exchange, in turn, gave us the opportunity to verify assumptions regarding current technologies. We’re looking forward to hearing much more about Agranimo.
After all, improved plant growth and increased yields help ensure a reliable future food supply for a growing global population. And this ultimately affects us all.
Agranimo CEO and founder Nikita Gulin said of the collaboration and co-development:
“As for the Agranimo team - it was not only an invaluable experience of collaboration with great professionals but also a chance to be part of an experiment that could have a meaningful impact on agriculture. Additionally, it added a lot of experience to the team, allowed us to do exciting research and will surely enhance the credibility for our future work.”
Doors are open for our Accelerator
Do you also want to be part of our next Accelerator? This year we’re looking for collaboration-ready startups working in the fields of Bio-Sensing & Interfaces, Clean Meat, and Liquid Biopsy, as well as in our core areas of Life Science, Performance Materials and Healthcare.
Apply now and let our experience in partnerships accelerate your business!