b'SEED INNOVATION DAYSSEED INNOVATION CHALLENGE WINNER ANNOUNCED FROM GLOBAL FIELDA PATENTED 3D PHENOTYPING SOLUTION HAS BEEN CHOSEN THE 2023 WINNER OF SEED INNOVATION CHALLENGE. THE REAL WINNER OF THE CHALLENGE, HOWEVER, IS THE ENTIRE GLOBAL SEED INDUSTRY.BY: MADELEINE BAERGT he 2023 Seed Innovation Challenge, which culminated at Seedpendent innovation subsidiary, the Agro Innovation Lab. Whereas Innovation Days Nov. 16 and 17, 2023 in Korneuburg, Austria, ismany companies carefully guard new innovation, RWA and the a global search for the most innovative new seed industry solutions.Agro Innovation Lab do exactly the opposite: not only publicly Hosted by RWA Raiffeisen Ware Austria and the Agro Innovationshowcasing the innovation theyve discovered through the Seed Lab (RWAs innovation subsidiary), the Seed Innovation ChallengeInnovation Challenge, but even inviting competitors to participate drew applications from 65 innovators from 24 countries. Nomineesin the intensive discussion and collaboration of the two-day Seed innovations spanned seed industry priorities from breeding andInnovation Days. Mayer says collaboration is critical to the health portfolio management to field production/seed multiplication andof the global seed industry.from factory production/seed processing to distribution, logistics, quality management and more.Of the many nominations, the field was cut to 12 finalists, each of whom was invited to Austria to present their solutions to a jury at the two-day Seed Innovation Days. Finalists included innovators from South Korea, the U.S., the Netherlands, Germany, Hungary,The Seed Innovation Challenge Switzerland, India, Serbia, England and France. The finalists pre- shows how easily innovative sented innovations that measured pollen cells, assessed in-field per- methods can be integrated into formance, employed AI solutions for the planning and processing of seeds, applied high-technology to sowing and measurement, andexisting agricultural systems and powered solutions through nanoparticles, 3D measurements andquickly bring benefits.plasma technology.Sixty-five applications and 12 finalists all presented pitchesGarlich von Essenon innovations that could indeed change the seed industry. They named a winner, and that wasnt even the most exciting part. The most exciting part was that the connections, the networking, the conversations that happened were powerful, says Shawn Brook, Seed World Group president and moderator of a panel discussion at Seed Innovation Days. This was for us a really good opportunity as RWA to bring all The winner was awarded 10,000 EUR as well as exclusive col- these playersglobal players, local actors public affairs, author-laboration discussions. ities: really all the stakeholders linked to seed have been present In his keynote address at the event, Garlich von Essen, secre- these last two days. I think this was the one-time opportunity to tary general at Euroseeds, said, The Seed Innovation Challengereally talk together about problems, and issues, and challenges for shows how easily innovative methods can be integrated into existingthe next couple years, and to find solutions to that otherwise we agricultural systems and quickly bring benefits.will not face those challenges, says Mayer.Innovation across the seed value chain is about much moreBrook said he left the Seed Innovation Days feeling great con-than an individual innovators success or a collaborating partnersfidence about the seed industrys future.growth opportunity. The people I talked to [at the Seed Innovation Days] are At the seed industry level, [innovation] is very importantexcited, they are passionate, they are committed to growing the because we are the first on the field with the seed, says Florianindustry and expanding the opportunities that exist for the global Mayer, head of seeds at RWA. Thats why, if we are not success- seed industry, says Brook. Im walking away inspired myself on ful, if we are not innovative, then also the success of the farmer ishow we can further be innovative and how we can have innovative limited at the end of the day. thinking integrated into our entire lives.Unlike many industry innovation events, the Seed InnovationFor more information about the Seed Innovation Challenge Challenge is spearheaded by a private company: RWA and its inde- and Seed Innovation Days, visit www.agroinnovationlab.com. SEEDWORLD.COM/EUROPEISEED WORLD EUROPE I 29'