The Salon International de l’Agriculture (SIA) trade fair was held from 23 February to 3 March 2019, at the same time as the SIMA (Salon International du Machinisme Agricole) trade fair. It welcomed 633,213 visitors and a thousand exhibitors.
Contrary to the view that we can have, agriculture is an innovative field. This is reflected in the various existing mechanisms:
SIMA Innovation Award
This year, the SIMA awarded 27 medals (2 gold, 5 silver, 20 bronze) in the context of the Innovation Awards. These awards recognize the most innovative equipment, products, techniques and services presented by the show exhibitors.
These innovations deals with:
- Digital technology: data collection, valorization, decision-making support, acquisition of new knowledge.
- Quality of work and machinery performance, especially in the context of complexification and diversification of the production.
- Security, comfort and occupational health.
Among the award-wining innovations: WindControl, from Amazone, is a surveillance system that compensates the influence of the wind on the spreading layers, or even Limacapt, from De Sangosse and CAP 2020, a connected and autonomous sensor used for slug counting and tracking.
The Innovation Contest
It is a contest financed by the French government in a national investment plan and carried out by the ADEME, BPIFrance and FranceAgrimer. It aims to support innovative projects driven by startups and SMEs around 9 topics.
Among the 2nd wave of winners, 8 projects were coming from the Innovating Agriculture category.
These include the INFARM project, from Invers, to develop an innovative workshop of insect production in a farm. This technology targets local animal feed markets, a sustainable substitute for imported flours of fish and soybeans.
For your information, the call for projects for the 3rd wave of the Innovation Contest is open. It will finish on 14 May 2019 at noon.
La Ferme Digital (The Digital Farm)
Finally, it is important, when we talk about French agricultural innovation, to talk about “La Ferme Digitale”. Founded by 5 startups, La Ferme Digitale is an association under the law of 1901 with the aim of promoting innovation and digital technology for an effective and sustainable agriculture.
The ambition of the association is to show how new technologies enable farmers to be more productive, more competitive and closer to the customer concerns.
At time of writing this article, the association has a team of 25 members (including the founders). Among them, we find:
- Ynsect, a specialist in transforming insects for animal nutrition, which raised 125 million dollars in 2019,
- Or Weenat, which offers connected sensors as a decision-making support tool: rain gauge, tensiometer, hygrometer, etc. The company was recently awarded at the SIVAL trade fair in 2019 for its frost fighting solutions.