Which is apple's greatest innovation

Interpoma: Startups and the digitization of apple cultivation

It has a very long history: in the Old Testament, which was written several millennia ago, apple cultivation is already mentioned in the first chapter. But anyone who thinks that people have succeeded in optimizing them to such an extent that there is no more room for improvement is wrong. Digitization and, in particular, AgTech innovations can tease out even more efficiency from this agricultural field. Large producers are of course particularly interested in this. And so it is not surprising that the Interpoma Innovation Camp also has its own startup format for apple cultivation.

+++ AgTech: “My tractor has been steering itself since this year” +++

On the edge of the world's largest apple fair, Interpoma

The scene of the apple innovation search is the South Tyrolean capital Bolzano, where the world's largest apple fair takes place every year with Interpoma. In 2016 it attracted around 18,000 visitors. For those who are less familiar with the apple business: With 18,400 hectares, South Tyrol is the largest apple-growing area in Europe. So it's clear that the northernmost province of Italy is also striving for innovation leadership in this area. For the aforementioned Innovation Camp, which was held for the second time, six international startups were invited to present their concepts on the subject of “the future of the apple”.

AgTech startups from five countries

Very different concepts were shown to the jury. For example, the Polish startup Agribot presented its robot, which should be able to take over all work in plantations. The German startup agra2b and the Italian FruitsApp, on the other hand, wanted to score with software solutions for the agricultural trade. Agroloop from Hungary presented its concept in which organic waste upcycling is carried out with soldier fly larvae (a similar concept from Austria was launched at Greenstart). And eLEAF from the Netherlands showed its satellite-based solution for water management and plant cultivation.

Fruit growing forecast system prevails

The Italian startup HK - Horticultural Knowledge with its Perfrutto fruit growing forecasting system was able to prevail in the jury. The system enables farmers, based on the size of the apple, to collect basic data up to four months before harvest and to make forecasts about the future growth of the apple. This allows fertilizer, irrigation, etc. to be optimized so that the harvest is as good as possible. The concept won not least because of all the entries it was designed most directly for apple cultivation.

Wiener WhatAVenture is behind the program

The Interpoma Innovation Camp was structured by the corporate startup engagement specialist WhatAVenture. The Viennese agency has implemented projects in Austria with the ÖBB, Wien Energie, Salzburg AG, Kapsch, AVL, ÖAMTC, Caritas and the University of Innsbruck, among others. In addition to the office in Vienna, WhatAVenture operates locations in Germany, Italy and Iran. In Germany, for example, programs were carried out with Deutsche Bahn, Energie Baden-Württemberg and MM Karton.

+++ WhatAVenture: "None of this is a friendly game!" +++

⇒ to the page of the Innovation Camp