The plant sector is a strategic economic sector, and considered to be one of the major technological sectors for the years to come, since it has an extremely high degree of national and international development potential. To make the most of the opportunities it offers, it is vital to master the digital technologies that are at the heart of these developments, and to ensure their promotion by unifying all stakeholders involved in the chain of development.
The AgreenTech Valley cluster
AgreenTech Valley is a cluster (association law 1901) created in 2015 at Orléans, in the heart of the leading agricultural region for the variety of its crops. Dedicated to digital technologies for plant industries, AgreenTech Valley aims to develop an AgTech Hub in the Center Val de Loire region, with an international vocation.
With more than eighty members, the cluster unites across the entire value chain: producers, solution providers, academic partners, skill centers and training players. Our goal is to develop the potential of digital solutions to respond to agronomic issues, by integrating a field approach that is as close as possible to 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
- 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
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 ....