Interest in the Agricultural sector is growing after the acquisition of Climate Corporation by Monsanto for $1B. The company co-founded by a former Google executive packaged its advanced weather prediction service into a crop insurance for farmers worldwide. Underserved for several decades, Agriculture is facing first-hand the impact of climate change, from more frequent storms to reduced supplies of water.
The future can be grim for some, but today challenges represent an opportunity for innovation for others. Four of the seven category prizes at the Cleantech Open last month went to new business ideas for Agriculture. That is a strong departure from last year when Transportation got most of the attention. Some of the most cutting-edge technologies, data science for instance, are applied to arguably the biggest challenge of our generation: how to feed 9 billion people by 2050 while managing limited water and energy resources?