Microsoft and Danone commit to Artificial Intelligence for a responsible food industry

Date Updated: Monday, January 20, 2020

AI Factory for Agrifood is the third class of the Microsoft AI Factory, after AI Factory for Green Energy and AI Factory for Health! The start-ups will be jointly supported by Microsoft and Danone, one of the world leaders in the agrifood sector, and will benefit from a three-month acceleration period.

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AI Factory for Agrifood for sustainable food and regenerative agriculture

AI Factory, Microsoft's support program for startups specializing in artificial intelligence, is organized around five major economic and societal challenges: health, environment/energy, transportation, financial services and agrifood. The aim of the AI Factory for Agrifood is both to accelerate the digital transformation of each sector, and to support these young companies to continue their development in artificial intelligence and cloud computing. A real accelerator for startups, this program aims at being an innovation laboratory that links startups, the research world and various players in each sector. Thanks to these synergies, the AI Factory for Agrifood intends to encourage projects serving regenerative agriculture (soil health, animal welfare, support for farmers), sustainable food, waste minimization, and optimization of supply chains.

Personalized support for an full ecosystem

The startups that participate in AI Factory for Agrifood will benefit from Danone’s “One Planet. One Health” vision, which links human health and the health of the planet across its entire value chain. They will also benefit from access to real use cases under demanding real-life conditions of quality and performance. Microsoft will provide personalized support through its technological skills and the services of its Azure platform, as well as its sales network.

Inria, the National Institute for Research in Digital Science and Technology, together with France Digitale, Fabernovel, EIT Food and Seventure Partners are also teaming up alongside Microsoft and Danone and will contribute during the different stages of the program—sourcing AI startups, selection process, coaching, and more—to leverage their respective expertise.

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First step for startups: apply!

Click here to apply. Applications are open now until February 6, 2020.

Conditions to apply?

Startups need to have developed and marketed a solution based on artificial intelligence technology and intended for professionals in the food industry.

Applicants need to have already raised funds.

The announcement of the six selected start-ups will be formalized on March 5, 2020.

Agnès Van de Walle, Director of the One Commercial Partner Entity at Microsoft France, said, “Our ambition is to help develop digital intelligence for healthy food and sustainable agriculture. This partnership with Danone will provide the selected applicants with in-depth expertise and personalized support, thus accelerating innovation throughout the agrifood sector.”

Cécile Cabanis, EVP, CFO, IS/IT, Danone Cycles & Procurement, said, “At Danone, we believe that artificial intelligence can contribute to the food revolution by improving our agricultural systems and our food’s value chains. That’s why we are very happy to launch this program with our partners at Microsoft. In a fundamental area such as food and agriculture, it is essential to encourage collaborative initiatives, knowledge sharing and the emergence of new, more inclusive and more sustainable solutions.”

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