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Montpellier welcomes an accelerator for digital agriculture projects

Information updated on 20/06/18
Smag, specialized in technical farming applications, will share its new offices with an “agro-digital studio.” This innovative structure created by the In Vivo group, a majority Smag shareholder, will focus on accelerating projects involving digital agriculture. Located at the Eurêka business park in Montpellier, it should also serve as an incubator for startups.
In Vivo, the leading cooperative group in France, chose to set up this unique entity in Montpellier: an agro-digital studio devoted to accelerating projects involved with managing farming data. The structure, which will be operational starting in early 2017, will occupy 600 sq. meters in the Terra Verde building in Montpellier’s Eurêka business park. Anthony Clenet, future director of the establishment and current R&D director for Smag, says: “We will welcome projects led by subsidiaries in our Group, as well as outside projects. This will be a private accelerator, incubator, and project detection tool all at the same time. The structure will benefit from skill sets present at Smag, the only subsidiary in the In Vivo group specialized in digital activities.” The studio will have a full-time staff of four people, welcoming project teams on a temporary basis for a few weeks up to a few months. It may also assist startups in partnership with the Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole Business and Innovation Centre (BIC). About twenty projects have already been identified. Anthony Clenet points out: “We have had a lot of requests since we announced this project, both internally and externally.”
Smag (formerly Neotic) was founded in 2001 by Stéphane Marcel and three associates, all four graduates of Montpellier SupAgro. Launched at the SupAgro incubator, the startup was then hosted for three years at Cap Omega, one of Montpellier’s BIC incubators. Specialized in developing web solutions for the agro-industrial sector, the company equips 70 - 80% of the cooperatives in France, representing some 30,000 users. Smag’s headquarters are in Châlons-en-Champagne, but the company employees 85 people in Montpellier, out of a total of 130. Anthony Clenet adds: “This site is the one that is growing the fastest, partially due to easier hiring conditions here, as well as Montpellier’s healthy appetite for new technologies. A very dynamic digital ecosystem converges with a world-class farming cluster here. These factors both contribute directly to Smag’s growth.”
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