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Australian startup OneCrop was crowned winner of the APAC Future Food Asia Award


OneCrop has been named Future Food Asia Award Prize Winner and will take home the US$100,000 reward. Led by Andrew Logan, the startup was crowned overall winner for their innovative solution that increases crop yields and tackles the issue of plastic waste in agriculture through a unique degradable mulch film.

Four startups were awarded with S$50,000 Startup SG Grants – Alchemy Foodtech from Singapore, FIB-SOL Life Technologies from India, PureSpace from South Korea and Shenzhen Qianhai Xiaozao Technology from China

Future Food Asia Award recognizes and rewards entrepreneurs from Asia Pacific who are building disruptive and sustainable innovations to tackle the inefficiencies and scarcities in our agri-food value chain. With rising population, urbanization, land scarcity and global warming challenges continuing to loom, nurturing innovators working towards sustainable food solutions remains essential. This year, the competition received a record number of applications from 19 different countries in Asia Pacific, and a 30 per cent rise in total applications compared to last year.

The selection of the 10 finalists and the winner was determined by a jury of complementary domain experts: Gerard Jacquin, former Director of Partnerships, Transfer and Innovation at INRA, Europe’s leading agricultural research institute; Dr. Ralph Graichen, Director of Food and Nutrition at A*STAR’s Biomedical Research Council; Victoria de la Huerga, Vice President of ADM Ventures, Archer Daniels Midland Company; and Isabelle Decitre, Founder and CEO of ID Capital.

What exactly does OneCrop do?

At the Future Food Asia Award event on 23rd May the jury named OneCrop from Australia as the winner of the US$100,000 award. Led by Andrew Logan, OneCrop’s solution increases crop yields and tackles the issue of plastic waste in agriculture through a unique degradable mulch film.

It provides a technologically advanced yet cost-effective film that stores soil moisture, increases soil temperature, and drives vigorous early germination and plant growth, allowing commercial farmers around the world to significantly boost their productivity with no impact on the environment.

“The Future Food Asia Award stage provides a voice to the AgriTech and FoodTech start-ups in Asia Pacific. The diversity in the problems being addressed and the origin of these solutions presented today reaffirm the need for a regional platform for this budding innovation ecosystem. We are proud to catalyze it. As our community of like-minded investors and partners expands, we work towards having more impact over the years to come.” said Isabelle Decitre, Founder and CEO of ID Capital, the lead organizer of the Future Food Asia Award.

Andrew Logan, CEO of OneCrop said: “The Future Food Asia Award experience has been transformative for us. OneCrop has a vision to radically change global farming. However, we need opportunities like FFAA to engage with influential individuals and organizations to accelerate our growth, otherwise we would be still sitting back in Australia trying to get heard. We are thankful to ID Capital and the FFAA partners for their support and their vision to make a difference in the future of agriculture.”

What about the other grant winners?

Enterprise Singapore, in consultation with the FFAA judging panel, has selected Alchemy Foodtech from Singapore, FIB-SOL Life Technologies from India, PureSpace from South Korea and Shenzhen Qianhai Xiaozao Technology from China as winners of its S$50,000 grants.

Mrs. Kee Ai Nah, Enterprise Singapore’s Executive Director for Lifestyle & Consumer Cluster, said, “AgriTech and FoodTech are becoming increasingly important in helping us address the long-term challenges of food nutrition and sustainability. Through the Future Food Asia Award, Enterprise Singapore hopes to identify promising startups with innovative solutions that can lead the industry into the future. We welcome these startups in Singapore’s vibrant ecosystem to develop new products and solutions for the region and beyond.”

Alan Phua, Co-Founder and CEO of Alchemy Foodtech, said: “Future Food Asia Award was a rigorous process that forces us to think through our business case, IP strategy and commercialization plan. It also gave us a great opportunity to interact with MNCs, science agencies and startups from around Asia which served as a great technology validation to our work. This would not be possible without the great support from Enterprise Singapore, bringing in parties from and beyond Singapore.”

Alchemy Foodtech is a deep technology startup funded by NRF/SPRING TECS grants that aim to stop the global diabetes epidemic by lowering blood glucose spikes of everyday carbohydrate staples such as refined jasmine white rice, white bread, noodles etc. with their patent pending ingredient innovations that has been clinically proven.

Dr. S. Kavitha, Director of FIB-SOL Life Technologies, said: “We at FIB-SOL are very happy to be awarded the Startup SG grant. I would like to thank Enterprise Singapore and ID capital for recognizing FIB-SOL as one of the winners. As a tech startup in agri-sector, this award is an impetus for us to cater to the global agri-community. This opportunity is an inevitable gateway to business avenues in Southeast Asian countries for FIB-SOL.”

The expansion of organic farming is handicapped by the lack of stable and consistent agricultural inputs, in particular bio fertilizers. FIB-SOL has developed a patented nanofiber platform technology to provide light-weight, consistent and stable bio fertilizers. The technology enables delivery of a high payload of active ingredients in a stable form, thereby reducing the bulkiness and increasing the efficiency of bio fertilizers. Along with logistics savings, it helps improve the yield and environmental footprint of farming.

Ms. Lee Sun-Young, CEO of PureSpace, said: “It is a great honor and pleasure to be a winner of StartupSG Grant. I would like to thank ID Capital, Enterprise Singapore and other contributing organizations of FFAA. Post-harvest losses in the supply chain is a global issue and we are grateful for this opportunity to showcase our solution. With FFAA, we look forward to helping solve the fruit and vegetable waste problem not only in Asia but also globally.”

PureSpace’s solution applies to fresh produce all along the cold chain and increases their shelf life, thus greatly reducing post-harvest losses. It has developed a proprietary nano-catalyst technology to completely decompose ethylene gas and airborne bacteria effectively and safely. Thanks to their handy portable device, the solution can be deployed at multiple points of the supply chain.

Dr. Yu Wei, Founder & CEO of Shenzhen Qianhai Xiaozao Technology said: “We would like to thank the Future Food Asia platform for recognizing our work on microalgal EPA (an omega- 3 fatty acid). Large scale cultivation of microalgae has the potential to add a new dimension to modern agriculture, utilizing non-arable land and recaptured CO2 to produce algae that would deliver high quality nutrition to both humans and animals. We are really excited about the potential of algal EPA and we are honored to be recognized. ”

The Future Food Asia Award (FFAA) is a one of a kind event with a focus on AgriTech and FoodTech in Asia Pacific and brings together under one roof investors, entrepreneurs, corporate executives, government officials and general sustainability enthusiasts from across the globe. Panel discussions were held on navigating through the pitfalls of scaling up a startup in the AgriTech and FoodTech domain as well as on the need for tailoring acceleration frameworks for startups in the same domain.

Shenzhen Qianhai Xiaozao Technology Co., Ltd, homes in on the mass cultivation of natural microalgae Nannochloropsis and scale production of its derivative such as EPA (Omega-3) products. They have invented proprietary technologies and know-hows in process including strain selection and development, cultivation, harvesting and downstream processing which allows them to be the first company in the world to deliver a line of EPA products with commercial scalability and economic viability. Microalgal derivatives such as EPA products are vegan, heavy metal free, superiorly bioavailable in GI tracts over fish oils and eco-friendly.