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#FoodTech Montpellier innovates from the field to your plate

Information updated on 22/01/19

Montpellier startups united under the #FoodTech and #AgTech banners are creating tomorrow’s farming and food. These two French Tech thematic networks bring Montpellier Métropole to the forefront of agronomic and agri-food innovation.

Pascal Peny, directeur du service Partenariats à Montpellier SupAgro et référent du réseau thématique #FoodTech Montpellier

Pascal Peny, Director of the Partnerships Department at Montpellier SupAgro, and director of the Montpellier #FoodTech thematic network

Original food products are being developed by about ten startups in the Montpellier #FoodTech network, which drives innovation across the chain extending from the farm field to people’s plates. New products include unsellable fresh fruits and vegetables recycled into dried pear, strawberry and carrot petals (by “Il était un fruit”); macerated flower and fruit petals blended with white wine for light aperitifs (by “Les apéros bios de Pierre et Nico”), and a range of gluten-free bread (by “Le Pain autrement”).

Innovation is not just for digital and technological activities. Recovering raw materials is a practical innovation that takes consumers’ new expectations into account,” says Pascal Peny, Director of the Partnerships Department at Montpellier SupAgro, and director of the Montpellier #FoodTech thematic network.

The Montpellier Hérault Rugby club (MHR) even chose one invention, the “Matahi” energy drink based on baobab fruit, as its sports recovery drink.
 

Drones

An #AgTech network is developing within the #FoodTech thematic network, which operates downstream in the agri-food chain close to end-consumers. Active at a higher level in farm production, #AgTech comprises 120 companies specialized, in particular, in software, IT, and digital solutions that make it easier to manage agricultural operations and ensure production traceability. These companies provide a variety of tools to manage fields, including drones, satellite data, sensors, modeling and decision-making tools. The leader in this sector is Montpellier-based SMAG (formerly Neotic), the first startup incubated at SupAgro. SMAG is a driving factor in the Montpellier metropolitan area. Fruition Sciences is another local gem that has become a benchmark in the viticulture industry.

Many companies here are very active with food-related innovation and cutting-edge solutions for farming,” adds Pascal Peny. “That is a specific feature of the Montpellier Métropole area. With the presence of 2,500 researchers at INRA, Cirad, SupAgro, and other research centers, this area benefits from a scientific community that is pretty unique in the world." 

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