Three innovative companies from UK reach the finals of Tesco Agri T-Jam 2020

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Ten seed and early-stage companies, including three from the UK, have reached the finals of this year's Tesco Agri T-Jam, the retailer and its supply chain members announced at the recent World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit.

A record 170 firms from 40 countries applied to have their products reviewed, which hope to improve supply chain efficiency and sustainability, and provide affordable, healthy, sustainable food for the retailer's customers. Those 10 will next present their solutions to the judging committee by participating in a public webinar at 4-5pm (BST) on 19 October..

“At Tesco, our ambition is to find the new products, ideas and technologies that will help us serve our customers, colleagues and communities even better in the future," Natalie Smith, Tesco’s Head of Agriculture said. "We want to work with people who have new ideas to help enhance what we do, or how we do things.”

Here are the finalists recognized by Tesco and its partners:

Cultiva (Italy) has developed a proprietary technology, Parka, designed to supplement the cuticle of the plant. By enhancing the plant’s membrane stability, it reduces crop losses associated with environmental extremes that have become more prevalent with climate change, including fruit cracking and sunburn.

FOTENIX (UK) combines cameras with machine learning to monitor crop status, such as disease, in real-time. Its key technology is three-dimensional multispectral imaging which allows laboratory analysis at economic cost. A FOTENIX-enabled sprayer or harvester provides the next step of data-driven farming to producers, whilst the cloud platform ensures agronomic insights that compound with each use. 

Livestock Water Recycling (Canada) has a patented on-farm water treatment PLANT and myPLANT data dashboard, that creates value for food producers by digitizing the waste outputs from animal agriculture to reduce expenses and the environmental impact of food production.

Neoperk Technologies (India) is developing a rapid soil testing technology, a combination of hardware and software which scans the soil sample using opto-electronic sensors and uses machine learning models to determine the soil nutrient status and its requirements. The portable device tests the on-field soil for macronutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, pH and soil organic carbon and gives crop-specific fertilizer management recommendations in less than five minutes.

Ocean Harvest Technology (UK) is a functional animal feed ingredient company leading in the prebiotic space for production and companion animals. It has developed a range of prebiotics by blending together seaweeds from around the world, each of which contain different soluble fibres. By combining the latest microbiome assay methods with performance testing, it has shown that its prebiotics can enhance performance in dairy, poultry, and swine applications.

OneCup AI (Canada) is bringing state-of-the-art computer vision to the livestock industry. The cornerstone of its technology is 360 Live ID - effectively face recognition for cattle from any angle. Using a revolutionary approach, it takes human-level intelligence and embeds it into a machine learning pipeline - creating an AI ranch hand with super-human 24x7 monitoring abilities.

Peroxigen (UK) has developed a range of pipefittings that incorporate a novel electrolytic cell that generates ozone in the water flow. As the ozone is a powerful and fast-acting disinfectant, it destroys all pathogens in the water supply. These generic pipefittings are robust, reliable, simple and safe, typically operating at 24VDC. 

PureSpace (South Korea) has developed a new mechanism based on nanotechnology that can effectively and sustainably decompose organic compounds such as ethylene gas, mould and bacteria. If applied in the cold chain for the fresh food industry, the shelf-life of fresh food can be systematically increased, thus reducing post-harvest losses.

Senesino (Scotland) has introduced Numnuts, a product that provides lambs with the best start in life, giving welfare focused consumers, retailers, and sheep farmers an ethical and sustainable approach to castration and de-tailing. It is an easy-to-use product that provides targeted pain relief for ‘marking’ of lambs with the standard rubber ring.

Sensegrass (France) is a soil intelligence platform that helps companies and farmers to reduce excessive nitrogen and fertilizers in the soil using a patented NPK sensor that detects, measures and analyses soil nutrients in real-time. Its AI Agronomist optimizes the crop and soil data to help users grow more sustainably, using nitrogen at the right time, in the right place, in the right quantity.

Winners of previous editions, ImpactVision and RoboScientific, have enjoyed fast-track introductions to the retailer’s supply chain and mentorship from its agriculture team.

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