The plant sector is strategic for the economy and has a very significant potential for national and international development in the years to come. In order to seize these future opportunities, it is essential to master the digital technologies at the heart of developments in the agricultural and agri-food sectors and to ensure their promotion by federating all the players in the chain.
The AgreenTech Valley cluster
AgreenTech Valley is a cluster (association under the law of 1901) created in 2015 in Orléans, in the heart of the leading agricultural region for the variety of its crops. Dedicated to digital technologies for plant sectors, AgreenTech Valley aims to develop an AgTech Hub in the Centre Val de Loire region, with an international vocation.
With more than ninety-five members, the cluster brings together producers, solution providers, academic partners, skills centres and training providers along the entire value chain. Our objective is to develop the potential of digital solutions to respond to agronomic problems, by integrating a field approach as close as possible to the needs.
By “digital technologies” we mean:
- Sensors - Sensor networks - IoT
- Agricultural Big Data - Data analysis - AI
- Modelling - AOD - Crop management software
- Robotics - Automation - Embedded computing
AgreenTech Valley: digital and new technologies for innovative
and sustainable agriculture
AgreenTech Valley is based on strong values that drive our activity.
- Quality sustainable agriculture
- Agro-ecological transition
- Better sharing of value
- Field approach
- Innovation for all
- Bring together all digital and agricultural players to decompartmentalize and identify needs
- Developing the potential of digital technologies for the benefit of plant sector players
- Integrate 4/1000 (carbon storage) in the management of crops
- Protect crops through eco-responsible solutions
- Developing resilient agriculture in the face of climate change
- Innovate, develop collaborative R&D projects,
- Broadcast the results of the projects
- Increase the skills of all stakeholders
A new business model
AgreenTech Valley has embarked on an in-depth study to devise a new economic model, in order to stand out from the crowd and provide services that are not available. The aim is to be less dependent on membership fees, to provide other forms of added value to its network and to stand out from the way other innovation structures in its field operate.
Two concepts form the basis of its new model:
- A strategy integrating the notion of the economy of functionality
- A new form of farmer involvement
The 3 thematic priorities
- Axis 1: Energy transition
Agriculture as a consumer and producer of renewable energies
→ agrivoltaics, methanisation, biomass energy, solar thermal energy, hydrogen, etc.
- Axis 2: Optimisation of inputs
Digital technologies at the service of environmentally friendly agriculture that creates value
→ smart irrigation, biocontrol, digital entomology, fertilisers, precision sowing, varieties, water treatment, etc.
- Area 3: Innovative sensors
Strategic and cross-cutting technological theme in data acquisition in agriculture/forestry
→ linked to the areas of expertise of the territory and the network
The AgreenTech Valley project - la Vallée Numérique du Végétal - was born in Orléans, capital of the Centre Val de Loire region and regional economic hub, at the initiative of 9 founding members :
Xavier BEULIN was the founding President, passionate and convinced of the place of digital technologies for the agriculture of tomorrow. He played an essential role in the set-up and the dynamics of the association. He was also a staunch supporter of the young farmers who are the future of farming.
Jean-Michel GALLIER, the current President, is a market gardener in Loiret. He keeps the field vision as well as the logic of value creation and competitiveness for the plant sectors.
3 driving forces behind the creation of AgreenTech Valley
1. Agricultural challenges based on vegetal
- FOOD challenge : producing both quantity and quality
- ENVIRONMENTAL challenge : reduce the environmental impact, preserve natural resources, anticipate climate change, …
- ECONOMIC challenges : ensure sustainable agricultural sectors,
- Social and societal challenges : acceptability, business transformations.
2. Digital Technologies
Sensors – drones / modelisation and decision support tools / embedded computing – Internet of Things / robotic, automatism, signal-processing / treatment and data analyses / Big-Data, High Performance Computing / Service platforms, … these are all mature and disruptive technologies, to provide companies with concrete strategie, strongly supporting innovation, job and value creation, at each stage of agricultural production and transformation : selecting cultivars / crop monitoring / managing natural resources / crop forecasting / food processing and use / urban farming…
3. The assests of the Center region
First agricultural region of France, leader of many plant species: field crops, market gardening, horticulture, arboriculture, vine, forestry. Leading actors acting throughout the plant cycle, present, with:
- A strong ecosystem of stakeholders: AXEREAL, SOFIPROTEOL, AnteaGroup, ATOS, ...
- Academic actors mobilized: University of Orleans, CNRS, BRGM, INRA, IRSTEA, Polytech'Orléans ...
- Technical and Experimental Centers: CDHRC - Astred'hor Loire Bretagne, CVETMO / LCA, ARVALIS Plant Institute, Terre Inovia, ... Complementary external partnerships: TERATEC (1st European high-performance computing technopole), CEA, Ecole Centrale Paris ....