Exploring AgriTech in the EU - AcrossLimits - Your EU Project Technology Partner

Exploring AgriTech in the EU

Agricultural technology (AgriTech) represents a transformative sector dedicated to revolutionising agriculture through innovative and advanced technological solutions. This involves the development and application of technologies such as precision farming, vertical farming, IoT-enabled sensors, automated machinery, and AI-driven analytics to optimise crop yields, manage resources better, and reduce environmental impact. AgriTech is paving the way for a more resilient and productive agricultural future in the EU.

AgriTech’s growth signifies a shift towards more efficient, sustainable, and technologically advanced agricultural systems. In the ever-evolving agricultural landscape, characterised by climate change and resource, traditional farming methods often struggled to meet demands efficiently. This challenge was particularly highlighted during crises such as the European droughts. The emergence of AgriTech was driven by the necessity for more adaptive, precise, and sustainable agricultural practices, encouraging innovations such as precision farming, automated machinery, and IoT-enabled sensors. These advancements reflect a broader movement towards automation, digitalization, and the necessity for sustainable resource management in a world where technology plays a pivotal role in shaping agricultural outcomes.

AgriTech is effectively as old as the agriculture industry, however the new strain of innovation fostering a growing number of startups is relatively new. Over the past 20 years, the sector has received over €80 billion in funding, largely through venture capital¹. These companies are spread across various countries, including Germany, France, the Netherlands, Spain, and Italy. The AgriTech sector in Europe is dynamic and growing, with numerous startups continuously emerging to address various challenges in agriculture through innovative technological solutions.

The climate change crisis has posed significant challenges to the agricultural sector, as highlighted in recent reports. Extreme weather events, such as prolonged droughts and severe floods, have led to substantial crop failures and reduced agricultural productivity across the EU. The increased frequency and intensity of these events have also exacerbated soil erosion and degraded land quality, making it harder for farmers to maintain sustainable practices. Additionally, the unpredictable weather patterns have disrupted planting and harvesting cycles, leading to food supply instability and increased prices. These challenges put immense pressure on the agricultural industry to adapt and innovate rapidly to ensure food security and environmental sustainability.²

This state of affairs has led to an EU-wide increased national investment into the agricultural technology sector. In fact, the EU launched the Horizon Europe programme, with a significant budget aimed at fostering innovation and sustainability in agriculture. A significant portion of this budget, around €9 billion, is allocated to Cluster 6, which focuses on “Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment.” This cluster supports projects that address issues such as sustainable agriculture, digital farming, and climate change adaptation. Additionally, the European Green Deal includes ambitious plans to support AgriTech innovations such as through the Farm to Fork Strategy. These programs provide valuable opportunities for AgriTech companies to secure funding for their projects. One example pushing for innovation is titled new knowledge and innovations for climate-smart farming – connecting research stations Such initiatives not only bolster the sector but also ensure that the EU remains at the forefront of agricultural innovation and sustainability.

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  1. Over £80 billion went to Agritech in Europe in the last 20 years – will there be enough high-quality food for all? – Tech.eu
  2. Climate change adaptation in the agriculture sector in Europe — Discover the key services, thematic features and tools of Climate-ADAPT (europa.eu)