Future Food Asia, a pan-Asia Pacific competition aimed at recognising leading agri-tech and foodtech startups, has announced the 10 finalists vying for its US$100,000 grand prize.

Along with the 10 finalists, four other startups will be awarded the StartupSG prizes of S$50,000 (US$36,000) each.

The Future Food Asia 2019 conference will be held at Matrix Auditorium on the 30 Biopolis Road in Singapore on June 3 to 4, 2019.

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The event will allow all finalists and winners to present their innovation in front of investors, industry leaders and domain experts.

“The line-up of finalists and winners evidences the wide range of technologies that can address some of the most critical challenges of the food supply chain. It is also interesting to notice how Artificial Intelligence is emerging as distinctive feature of the region’s propositions,” said Isabelle Decitre, Founder and CEO of ID Capital, the lead organizer of Future Food Asia Award.

An overview of the 10 finalists:

AgNet (China): The Shanghai based agri-tech startup has developed a cloud solution, which promises to lower livestock production costs and lay the foundation for trusted transparency with food companies and consumers. It uses Big Data, IoT and AI.

Biotelliga (New Zealand): Biotelliga utilises fungi, nature’s plant-interaction specialists, to develop sustainable technologies to protect crops from pests and diseases, allowing increased food production with low environmental impact. Biotelliga’s bio pesticides and seed-integrated protective fungi will enable reduction in use and ultimately replacement of environmentally harmful chemical pesticides.

Inong Agriculture (Taiwan): As a bioinformatics startup that specialises in microbial genetic analysis, Inong Agriculture is a Big Data-powered soil microbe expert, which offers cash-crop-specific solutions that leverage on customised probiotics to increase crop yield sustainably, alleviating the environmental burden from overdoses of chemical fertilisers or pesticides.

Jai Kisan (India): It is an agri-fintech platform catering to rural emerging markets by providing a risk-adjusted return to lenders while ensuring a low cost of capital and quick turnaround time with minimal documentation for the borrower. Jai Kisan finances agricultural equipment, dairy, and other yield generating rural assets.

MPT AgTech (Australia): It is building a range of tech-enabled, smart equipment for large scale farming operations. Their first product is a tech-enabled planter that can monitor the conditions of the soil in real time while seeding, and self-adjust its seeding depth, and seeding rate live, based on the measured soil profile.

RapidAIM (Australia): It takes the guesswork out of pest surveillance, detection and management. Delivered as a service, RapidAIM provides high-resolution, real-time information of the location of pests for early detection, and targeted control.

SaliCrop (Israel): It develops a non-GM seeds treatment for various crops varieties, vegetables and grain seeds. The seeds treatment stimulates a specific epigenetic trait of the plant which enables crop growing and yielding in high salinity soils or when irrigated with brackish water. Salicrop is a portfolio company of Rimonim Agro fund.

Also Read: Why Isabelle Decitre left France to start ID Capital in Singapore

SatSure (India): It is an innovative large area analytics company which leverages advances in satellites, Machine Learning and Big Data analytics to provide answers to large-area questions, with agriculture, forestry, and environmental management. It combines satellite imagery with weather, IoT, social and economic datasets, etc to generate timely, location specific insights.

THE.WAVE.TALK (South Korea): It detects bacteria in liquids much faster than conventional technologies. The startup targets to save millions of hours spent just waiting for the result by decreasing test time from days to hours (applications from water/beverage plants to water purifiers at home). Moreover, by applying AI, it is able not only to detect but also identify bacteria.

UlikeKorea (South Korea): It is a livestock ICT company with a smart livestock solution called LiveCare. The solution was developed with the support of globally respected Korean R&D institutions and it builds on a bio-capsule that once ingested by the animal, enables lifelong health monitoring. As the interest in sustainable animal husbandry continues to increase, it aims to make every effort to contribute to the advancement of the global livestock industry.

An overview of the StartupSG prize winners:

Intello Labs (India): It is a deeptech startup that uses Artificial Intelligence and multispectral tools to make quality monitoring and grading solutions for food commodities. Its image-based solutions, which come in the form of smartphone apps, bring transparency and standardization to the quality assessment process in food supply chains, reducing value risk and wastage from farm to fork.

Phyto Corporation (South Korea): It is an innovative food and biotechnology company creating the future of food with Salicornia, a plant grown by seawater. Phyto Corporation has developed the world’s first 100 per cent plant-based salt ‘PhytoSalt’, extracted from Salicornia, a plant containing high contents of salt. PhytoSalt is effective on high blood pressure and is a microplastics-free salt as well. By desalinating Salicornia, Phyto has also developed a new superfood and flour alternative ‘PhytoMeal’ that can solve the global food crisis.

Shiok Meats (Singapore): It is a cell-based shrimp company. Its aim is to bring cell-based crustaceans to your table, which is health-, animal- and environment-friendly, by growing cells instead of animals.

VakSea (US): VakSea uses insect larvae to biomanufacture functional feed additives that protect farm-raised fish and shrimp from disease. Using its innovative insect larvae production platform, VakSea can produce large-scale quantities of affordable protein-based feed additives for a variety of purposes, starting with preventing viral disease outbreaks on shrimp aquaculture farms.

Startup applications for Future Food Asia 2019 opened in February and closed in April 2019. More than a hundred of contenders applied, coming from 13 different countries from Asia Pacific. While North Asia continued to be the dominant region with 35 per cent of the applications, Southeast Asia emerged in the second spot with 27 per cent, marginally ahead of South Asia with 26 per cent.