Interpoma 2016, with space for ideas at the first Innovation Camp

20 October 2016

The future of our planet is a menu based on innovation and research. The challenges of the twenty-first century are called food safety and food security, climate change, scarcity of resources (from land to water) and therefore the fight against waste (of natural resources and food), all with the same common denominator, i.e. agriculture. Technological innovation will lead the quest for sustainable growth, or producing more in terms of quantity and quality, but with fewer resources (land, water, technology), and the boom in start-ups emerging in recent years in various agribusiness sectors can drive this change.
Now at its tenth edition, Interpoma - the international trade fair dedicated to the apple, taking place from 24 to 26 November at Fiera Bolzano - will interpret this trend by introducing the first "Interpoma Innovation Camp", a platform for exchanging new ideas and innovative themes to be developed in the agricultural and apple sector. Companies, young talent, experts in the sector and start-ups will be invited to a workshop being held on 22 and 23 November (the two days preceding Interpoma), taking part divided into teams. Each group will be led by an expert who will follow the work team in the process of developing new ideas in different areas: systems, cultivation, logistics, processing and marketing. The ideas will then be translated into possible prototypes and submitted to the jury and the trade press on the evening of 23 November, the day before the trade fair starts.

“We wanted to focus the attention on innovation because agriculture is at the forefront in addressing the main challenges of our century - says Thomas Mur, General Manager of Fiera Bolzano - The Interpoma Innovation Camp project, developed in collaboration with IDM Sudtirol-Alto Adige, seeks to create a community working to create technological solutions able to meet these needs and changes.”

But what is happening from the field to the consumer's plate?
- big data: earth, the raw material of the Agricultural Age, combines with data, the raw material of the Information Age. Digital technology has greatly facilitated the collection of data to be analysed, while precision agriculture has increased the ability to predict and make ever faster and more accurate decisions on production, processing and distribution of food, and also make it possible to reduce costs.
- the boom in agricultural drones:  sensors, lasers and thermal imagers are used to collect data on soil and crop characteristics, reduce waste produced by technical equipment, and assess quality and production. The drones employed in agriculture can reduce the uncertainties of work in the open and measure variables hitherto difficult to quantify. 
- robots also in the fields: from automatically guided cars and buses to tractors controlled remotely via apps. Thanks to dedicated research, agricultural robots can collect fruit, sow, and improve the quality of work in the fields and the quality of the work of farmers.
- vertical farming: hydroponics or aeroponics are being adopted in vertical greenhouses and LEDs are used instead of the sun to reproduce photosynthesis. Sensors detect crop conditions and guide the agronomic interventions. It’s the internet of things, and there is a long list of start-ups and running projects. 
- preservation of products and packaging: lower energy costs, better food safety, preservation methods, development of new packaging and digitalisation of processes guide the intensive research in the sector of product preservation.

These are just some of the things behind the research and innovation and resulting in so many agribusiness start-ups, whose objective, given the current drop in prices and consumption, will be to offer greater margins to farms, with savings in time and greater ease of use. The Interpoma Innovation Camp will be a unique opportunity to give space to those who want to take up this challenge, especially in the apple sector.

Interpoma Press Office c/o fruitecom
Elena Vincenzi; Stefania Duminuco

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