HANOI, VIETNAM – 4 August 2021 – After a competitive and inspiring online challenge, the selection committee of GRAFT Challenge Vietnam has chosen nine leading agritech scale-ups from overseas to enter the Vietnamese market. Designed to give promising innovators from around the world bespoke support to scale into Vietnam with the aim of solving the country’s most pressing agrifood challenges, the GRAFT project is funded by the Australian Government through its Aus4Innovation program and in partnership with Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology.
Applicants competing in the challenge came from 16 countries, including the USA, Israel, Australia, India, and Thailand. Proposed solutions included: integrated IoT solutions to improve water quality in local aquaculture systems; microbial solutions for environmentally-friendly crop health management; and microclimate monitoring and control systems for safer and more energy-efficient piggeries. All the scale-ups that applied were either post-revenue or had previously graduated from a top global accelerator program, and nearly 50% of the scale-ups in the final cohort are female-led companies.
“The caliber of this year’s applicants exceeded even our already-high expectations. The market-ready solutions and capabilities carried by our inaugural cohort will help many of Vietnam’s agrifood industry leaders to solve some of their toughest challenges,” said Justin Ahmed, GRAFT Program Lead.
Prior to the challenge, the GRAFT team had convened industry working groups of Vietnamese agribusiness corporates to identify the unique challenges that face Vietnam’s crops and plantations, aquaculture, and livestock industries. Many of these challenges were related to climate-driven production risk, improving feed cost-efficiency, reducing post-harvest losses, and building consumer trust.
“The success of the GRAFT program in selecting a strong cohort gives Aus4Innovation even more confidence in this public-private partnership. Agrifood is a priority sector for Australia’s development efforts in Vietnam, and we believe these companies have the potential to kickstart a wave of agricultural innovation in the country,” remarked Tom Wood, Program Director of Aus4Innovation after the finalist announcement.
“Our team was very excited that many of this year’s applicants presented digital and data-driven solutions for lingering production challenges in Vietnam,” said Quang Phan, Director of the Mekong Business Initiative Company. “We’re thrilled to start working with these scale-ups as they bring their solutions into Vietnam market.”
Mr. Nguyen Duc Tung, General Secretary of Vietnam Digital Agriculture Association (VIDA), mentioned that “the proprietary software solutions pioneered by the incoming class of scale-ups will have immediate applications for food quality assessment, supply chain efficiency and agricultural project management in Vietnam.”
This August the nine scale-ups will begin receiving GRAFT’s 15-week program of tailored support, during which a network of in-market experts will provide bespoke consultation to help the scale-ups validate their technologies. This phase of the program will culminate with the scale-ups presenting their solutions to Vietnamese agricultural corporations at an intensive week-long roadshow.
The finalists in the GRAFT Challenge Vietnam 2021 Cohort are:
AgNext Technologies (India): Agnext is the developer of an AI-driven SaaS platform that digitalizes food quality assessments.
CropIn (India): CropIn provides decision-making support and traceability tools for entities in every corner of the agrifood ecosystem, including seed producers, contract farmers, processors, and government and financial institutions.
EveryPig (USA): EveryPig’s first-of-its-kind software program for pork combines real-time digital health monitoring, telehealth, and treatment tracking to help pork farmers easily optimize their operations.
Hillridge Technology (Australia): Hillridge Technology provides a data-based solution, powered by proprietary algorithms, to digitally calculate and issue parametric microinsurance to smallholder farmers and enable them to recover from the impacts of poor weather.
JalaTech (Indonesia): JalaTech offers a precision, data-powered shrimp farm management platform that improves feed efficiency and health outcomes.
Koltiva (Indonesia): Koltiva offers tailored IT solutions and services to improve project management along agriculture supply chains. To date, Koltiva’s solutions have been used by clients in 28 countries.
ListenField (Thailand): ListenField built a patent-backed precision ag-tech platform that leverages data analytics to help farmers cut operational costs, improve productivity, and reduce carbon footprints.
Sufresca (Israel): Sufresca develops bio-based, easy-to-apply edible coatings that extend the shelf-life of fresh products for weeks under ambient conditions.
Tepbac (Vietnam): Tepbac has built an aquaculture farm management platform featuring IoT solutions that improve operational efficiency, water quality control, and traceability for aquacultural enterprises in Vietnam. Their patent-backed platform has been deployed across more than 1,500 Vietnamese smallholder farms and agribusiness facilities.
GRAFT is sponsored by Australia’s Aus4Innovation program to contribute to promoting the testing of new models in public-private partnerships, and strengthen Vietnam’s capacity in digital, scenario building, commercialization, and innovation policy. GRAFT Challenge Vietnam 2021 is an initiative designed by Australian innovation agency Beanstalk in partnership with the Vietnam Digital Agriculture Association (VIDA), the Vietnam National Supporting Center for Youth’s Start-up (SYS), and Mekong Business Initiative for Innovation Challenges (MBIIC).
About Aus4Innovation: Aus4Innovation is the AUD 13.5 million, four year (2018-2022) flagship program to help strengthen the Vietnamese innovation system and prepare for Vietnam’s economic and digital future. It is funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), managed by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in strategic collaboration with the Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnam (MoST)./.