Freiburg agritech startup competition arouses global interests

06.06.2018 08:23

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Agritech

The launch of the first international Agri & Co challenge served as a wakeup call to several innovators in the food, agriculture and biomass industries. The call has attracted 153 applicants from 53 countries across all continents. Only 15 candidates will be awarded as winners.

Switzerland continues to defend its position as an innovative country through different ways. One of them is through becoming a center for innovation itself by attracting and supporting new ideas and secondly by providing a conducive environment to transform these ideas into feasible businesses. The country can build on its reputation to introduce new initiatives and attract innovators from all over the world.

Fribourg’s recent call for applications for the Agri & Co challenge proved this. The competition aims at fostering collaborations, creating new value chains and enabling innovative initiatives which will in turn contribute to sustainable economic development.

The Call received 153 entries from candidates stemming from 53 countries in all continents. By mid-July the jury, which is comprised of 13 members and chaired by Paola Ghillani, will draw up a shortlist of 30 applicants based on the criteria degree of innovation and feasibility degree of sustainability, market potential, job creation potential, as well as team and skills.

The jury will invite the selected startups to pitch their projects in person in September. Based on their presentations, the panel will select the 15 projects that will receive up to 500’000 Swiss francs in addition to several other benefits. The official award ceremony will take place on 7 November in Fribourg.

The winners will participate in one of the two programs they applied for: ‘Relocation’ and ‘Remote Collaboration. By allowing the candidates to make their own choice, the initiative can cater to the needs of a much broader range of firms, and thereby maximize the innovation and collaboration potential.

As a leading player in the Swiss agrofood industry, the canton of Fribourg will use Agri & Co Challenge to expand its network of innovative and sustainable firms, foster synergies between different economic sectors, and introduce new value chains, especially with emerging markets.

Last year the Canton of Fribourg acquired the St-Aubin Innovation Space to represents a golden opportunity, and a real USP, for the canton of Fribourg when it comes to promoting and stimulating innovation. With its substantial laboratory, office and testing facilities, not to mention extensive agricultural land, the St-Aubin site provides a unique set-up that is ideally suited to the development of future-oriented solutions and lasting cooperation on exciting and groundbreaking projects.

(RAN)

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