Sunday, September 25, 2016

Data revolution in agriculture: Emerging new data-driven business models in the agri-food sector

The European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability (EIP-AGRI)  organized a seminar titled "Data revolution: emerging new data-driven business models in the agri-food sector" between 22-23 of June 2016 in Sofia, Bulgaria. The seminar was attended by more than 100 people and NEUROPUBLIC was there, represented by its President Dr. Fotis Chatzipapadopoulos.

The seminar focused on the core role that data play in the agrifood sector, mostly thanks to the advances in contexts like smart farming and the Internet of Things in agriculture, where data are collected from various sources (such as sensors, databases, radars and GPS, to quickly name a few), stored, processed and used for providing data-informed advice on e.g. farm management (affecting cultivation practices). The constantly increasing availability of agrifood data combined with the innovative ideas that are transformed into data-powered services leads to the creation of a new ecosystem of businesses that work on various aspects of agri-food data management and development of services based on these data. Using this as the basis, the seminar not only allowed the presentation of such innovative ideas by the participants but it gave them the opportunity to discuss them with the audience and identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and risks with real potential customers in order for them to evaluate the business model of their services. At the same time, the participation and contribution of key stakeholders and policy makers drove a discussion on how agricultural and rural development policy can support the data revolution for an enhanced productivity and sustainability in the wide agri-food chain.

The business model of NEUROPUBLIC's smart farming services is one of the aspects that makes a difference compared to the competition; instead of charging customers for the infrastructure (i.e. telemetric stations to be installed in the field, the use of the GAIA Sense panhellenic network for data transmission, the use of proprietary software for data entry, sharing etc., NEUROPUBLIC opts to offer all technological infrastructure for free and only charge customers (i.e. farmers) for the services that they use - and only for them - on a subscription-based model. This is really important for the potential users of these services, as the company mostly targets smallholder farmers who do not have the capacity nor the resources to invest in costly technological infrastructure but still they need to improve their production and reduces production costs. In this way, NEUROPUBLIC is the one to take the risk and invest for farmers instead of the farmers themselves only to receive a fraction of the financial benefits that farmers yield by using its smart farming services - how does this sound as a business plan?

One can only imagine that the case of NEUROPUBLIC is only one of the many available around, focusing on different steps of the agri-food chain and ranging from food production to retail sales. The explosion of data production and availability during the last years has a tremendous impact on the way that the agri-food sector is operating and the pressure applied in order to agriculture in order for it to meet the constantly increasing nutritional needs of the constantly growing population over the next years highlights the need for the exploitation of the available data.

You can find more information on the outcomes of the event in the recently published report (PDF) of EIP-AGRI.