Santiago, October 26, 2023. With a positive balance, the presence of more than two thousand attendees and the general satisfaction about the creation of a new reference for the agribusiness, the First International Congress and Fair of Innovation and Technologies in Agri-Food, CfiAgrotech, which was held for the first time in our country at the Metropolitan Santiago Convention Center, between October 24 and 26, ended.
Government authorities, union leaders, academics, businessmen, producers and suppliers of the industry, as well as students, gathered at this event that has been held for 26 years in France and that in its premiere in Chile generated valuable synergies between the supply and demand of the agri-food industry, as well as interesting opportunities for the creation of new businesses in the midst of a valuable exchange of experiences and learning.
In this context, the manager of CfiAgrotech, Paula Miranda, highlighted the high level of the International Congress that took place during the exhibition and which featured more than 35 national and foreign speakers who, divided into ten thematic panels, addressed a series of key global issues such as regenerative agriculture, green finance, solutions from innovation and technology, new production logics, traceability, robotics and automation in agri-food.
“This first version was a reflection of how diverse and complex the agri-food production system is and the transcendental challenges that Chile faces to become a food power; an objective that has a sustainable look in its environmental, social and economic pillars, and where all actors are necessary: private enterprise, unions, academia, state agencies and, above all, people interested and committed to collaborate towards this country’s goal,” said Miranda.
“In these three days we were able to bring together unlikely peers and move towards the opening of a national and international dialogue of networks to build virtuous value chains from technology, training, transfer and education. We proudly close this first version of CfiAgrotech 2023. The message is Let’s go for more! And soon we will provide more information on future versions,” concluded Paula Miranda
The talks and interventions of the various speakers who participated in CfiAgrotech became another of the high points and an instance highly valued by the attendees. From “Regenerative agriculture from the algae revolution”, by Vincent Doumeizel (senior advisor for Oceans and Food of the UN Global Compact); to “Networks and value chain in Agrifood: Experiences and Lessons” by Lauren Falcao (Assistant Professor of Economics and Global Affairs at Yale University) and the presentation “Towards Autonomous Agriculture”, delivered in online format by Erik Pekkeriet (Director of the Agri-Food Robotics Program at Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands), were followed with enthusiasm by the many attendees.
By bringing together speakers, exhibitors and visitors in one place, CfiAgrotech allowed for a virtuous integration among all authorities and industry players. Of special relevance was the visit to the fair by the President of the Republic, Gabriel Boric, who together with the Minister of Agriculture, Esteban Valenzuela, and the President of the National Society of Agriculture (SNA), Antonio Walker, among other authorities, highlighted the level of the exhibition.
“It is impressive the spirit of innovation, the spirit of Chilean identity, the rural pride of the young people linked to the world of agriculture”, said the head of state after his tour of the various stands where he learned about the scope and notoriety of some of the innovative technological solutions created by national startups – mainly agtech and foodtech – focused on achieving improvements in sustainable food production, both in Chile and abroad.
Within the framework of this first version of the International Congress and Fair on Agri-Food Innovation and Technologies, two important awards sponsored by CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society, took place.
The first took place during the “Agri-Food Night: Cheese and Wine”, which ended the inaugural day. The “AgroTech of the Year Award” was presented to AgroInventario, led by its CEO & Founder, Vicente Pérez. This is a company focused on information technologies that provides solutions for the automation of inventories on agricultural properties, thus facilitating traceability by providing real-time data on purchase and output history, products in use and downloadable reports. It was chosen by its peers in the startup guild, AgroTech Chile, through an online vote.
As a prize, AgroInventario obtained a free stand at CFIAgrotech and the opportunity to present its project in the “Solutions from Innovation” Panel of the International Conference. In addition, CAS gave the company a year of free access to its CAS SciFinder Discovery Platform™, a solution designed to enhance discoveries and bring them expeditiously to the market. It also provided an invitation to a Pitch Party, where a panel of scientific and innovation experts will provide support to perfect its value proposition, as well as advice on its business consolidation.
At the end of the meeting, CAS distinguished three startups, finalists of the “Despega Tu Emprendimiento” Contest, in the categories of Innovation, Environment and Commercial Pitch. The winners were chosen by a demanding jury, composed of representatives of technology user companies, who were convened by the company Imagine for this task.
In the Innovation category, La Casona El Monte was awarded for its Froyatt line of functional foods, made from spirulina (without aroma or flavor), quinoa, inulin and vegetable protein. In the Environment category, the award went to Neltume, a startup dedicated to pest monitoring and control optimization, whose platform allows agrochemicals to be applied more efficiently, reducing environmental impact. Finally, the Commercial Pitch award went to Agroprime, which presented its “workforce management” platform for agricultural personnel management, which incorporates enrollment, access, assistance, productivity and traceability of the harvest, providing daily information and reports through mobile and desktop apps. The three companies will also have free access, for one year, to the CAS SciFinder Discovery Platform™, and will be able to count on the advice of innovation specialists to strengthen their respective business proposals.
It should also be noted that the information from all the SMEs and agtech and foodtech startups that participated in the “Despega Tu Emprendimiento” contest will be part of a study being developed by researchers from Harvard, Yale, Duke and Boston universities to understand the impact of participating in trade fairs for these companies. Along with CfiAgrotech and the support of U.S. universities, the research has the support of the Luksic Foundation and CORFO, in addition to the sponsorship of SNA, The Yield Lab, Fundación Chile, Imagine Waves, the Ministry of Economy and the National Commission for Evaluation and Productivity (CNEP).
Organized by FISA, GL events and SNA, CFIAgrotech was sponsored by ASOEX, ChileAlimentos, Chile Carne, Fedefruta, Fedeleche, InvestChile, Vinos de Chile, Transforma Alimentos, BDP Foods, the National Irrigation Commission, CORFO, FCH, Agrotech Chile, AGRID, Red Fortalece Pyme Maule and ThinkAGRO.