A digital future for agriculture

xFarm founder and CEO Matteo Vanotti (L) receives the Grand Prix Möbius Suisse 2020
xFarm founder and CEO Matteo Vanotti (L) receives the Grand Prix Möbius Suisse 2020

Institutional Communication Service

The digital revolution is not exclusive to the secondary and tertiary sectors, as seen on October 17 in Lugano, where Swiss quality innovation for the digital present and future of agriculture was on display. In addition to this year’s Grand Prix Möbius won by xFarm, creator of a SaaS platform for the farming sector, all four finalists took the stage showing their latest digital solutions to help farmers be more efficient and less vulnerable.

[xFarm] "contributes to the modernisation of the agricultural enterprise through technological innovation, creating a modern supply chain in the interest of business and of society in general" – recites the motivation for the Grand Prix Möbius 2020 awarded to xFarm, at the full-digital ceremony held in Lugano on October 17.

xFarm is the brainchild of Matteo Vanotti – a farmer with a ETHZ degree in Engineering – who has embraced IoT and other modern digital technologies to develop a mobile SaaS platform suitable for farmers, to help them in all sorts of activities, like the visualisation of land plots using satellite systems combined with land registries and IoT sensors, or detailed analytics to digitise the entire supply chain – to enable the “from farm to fork” concept. Today, xFarm manages over 20.000 farmers and collaborates with prestigious food companies and international machinery manufacturers. 

The Möbius Lugano Foundation reflects on the opportunities and risks related to the digital society. The 24-year old Foundation promotes initiatives to discuss and develop the important subjects of digital culture in its many forms, which deal with issues of great importance for social evolution. This year the focus of Möbius was on the digital transformation that is occurring in the agri-food sector, where especially farmers are seeking solutions to improve their activity and respond to the emerging need of people to rekindle with nature, in the wake of the pandemic. 

Special mentions were given to the other three finalists. Dolphin Engineering, formerly incubated at CP Start-up USI was acclaimed for its PreDeVine decision support system based on wireless sensor networks and weather stations capable of monitoring the microclimatic conditions of the vineyard in order to predict, through self-adaptive algorithms, the development of vine diseases and parasites.

EnvEve, which was founded in 2008 and previously incubated at CP Start-up USI, specialises in environmental risk management and decision support in forestry and agriculture. Möbius mentioned it for Agronomeet, a system devised to support small businesses through facilitating access to microcredit and agro-insurance through technology.

Finally, Sarmap was acknowledged for its Remote Sensing for Information and Insurance for Crops in Emerging Economies (RIICE) system. Sarmap, established in 1998, develops and provides innovative customized earth observation solutions used in fields such as topography and land displacement.