FRANCE – Danone and Microsoft have partnered in an artificial intelligence (AI) program dubbed ‘AI Factory For AgriFood’ that seeks to support sustainable food and regenerative agriculture in France.

The AI Factory For AgriFood is the third promotion of the AI ​​Factory from Microsoft, after AI Factory for Green Energy and AI Factory for Health!

Through the program, Danone and Microsoft will jointly support startups specializing in Artificial Intelligence in the agrifood sector, and will benefit from a 3-month acceleration period.

The aim of the AI ​​Factory for Agrifood is to accelerate the digital transformation of the agrifood sector while supporting young companies to continue their development in artificial intelligence and cloud computing.

The companies noted that as a veritable accelerator of start-ups, this program aims to be a co-innovation laboratory that links start-ups, the world of research and the various players in the sector.

The AI Factory for Agrifood start-ups will benefit from Danone’s “One Planet, One Health” vision, which links human health and global health across its entire value chain.

They will also benefit from access to real cases under demanding conditions of quality and performance.

Microsoft said that it will provide personalized support through its technological skills and the services of the Azure platform as well as its sales network.

Inria, the national research institute in digital sciences, France Digitale, Fabernovel, EIT Food and Seventure partners are also teaming up alongside Microsoft and Danone.

The companies will intervene during the different phases of the program: sourcing of AI start-ups, processes selection, coaching, etc. to bring their respective expertise.

Agnès Van de Walle, Director of the Partner Entity of Microsoft France: “Our ambition is to help develop a digital intelligence for healthy food and sustainable agriculture.

“This partnership with Danone will provide this promotion with in-depth expertise and personalized support, thus accelerating innovation throughout the agrifood sector.”

Cécile Cabanis, EVP, CFO, IS / IT, Danone Procurement & Cycles: “At Danone, we believe that artificial intelligence can contribute to the Food Revolution by improving our agricultural systems and our food value chains.

“This is why we are very pleased with the launch of this program with our Microsoft partners: in an essential area such as food and agriculture, it is essential to encourage collaborative initiatives, knowledge sharing and the emergence new, more inclusive and more sustainable solutions.”

The program is open for startups to apply until February 6, 2020. The announcement of the 6 selected start-ups will be formalized on March 5.

Eligible startups need to have developed a solution dedicated to the food industry and already marketed, based on an artificial intelligence technology intended for professionals in the food industry and already raised funds.