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OnTech is working to boost the Agrotech sector in Andalusia

July 29, 2021
OnTech is working to boost the Agrotech sector in Andalusia

The agri-food industry is the main industry in Andalusia. With an annual turnover of 17,000 million euros, it has more than 6,000 companies, generates 68,000 jobs, and is key to boosting rural development. Andalusia’s position and growth as an agro-industrial power depend to a large extent on innovation and the application of new technologies. For this reason, the OnTech Innovation technology cluster is focusing a large part of its efforts on promoting agro-technology and innovative projects applied to the different stages of the agri-food process.

OnTech’s commitment to “agribusiness” is based on three pillars: the incorporation of companies and knowledge centres of reference in the sector; the development of R&D&I projects; and participation in collaborative initiatives with other regional and international institutions. In recent months, OnTech has added to its network of associated knowledge centres entities such as Tecnova, in Almeria; the Olive Tree Technology Centre (Citoliva) in Jaén; the Agroindustry Technology Centre of Huelva (Adesva); the La Caña Group; the biotechnology company Econatur; and the company Bordas Chinchurreta, among others.

To date, OnTech Innovation has led and coordinated two successful R&D&I projects, included in the aid programme for Innovative Business Groups (AEI) of the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade, focused on the implementation of a new model of eco-sustainable agriculture (‘iAgri’) and the development of a prototype sensor and a predictive model to determine the degree of maturity of avocado (‘Avocado Streaming’). These two projects will soon be joined by new collaborative initiatives that the cluster is coordinating to present in the next calls opened by the Ministry, in which technology companies with a long history in the development of disruptive technologies for the sector such as Nazaríes IT, Soltel or Solutia play an important role.

Similarly, OnTech Innovation is participating in several regional and international projects that will boost innovation in the agri-food sector. The cluster is part of the public-private initiative Andalucía Agrotech Digital Innovation Hub, an innovation centre promoted by the Andalusian Regional Government to accelerate, accompany and channel the implementation of digitalisation in the agri-food value chain.

In addition, OnTech has developed together with five other technology clusters from Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland the European project Digiclusters, an initiative that seeks to promote digital transformation and Industry 4.0 in the agri-food and packaging sector; and is currently working on the AUMENTA project, which aims to facilitate the internationalisation of European agri-food and Industry 4.0 SMEs in the strategic markets of North Africa, Latin America, and the Caucasus.