AGCO Visits Silicon Valley to Meet Innovators Helping to Feed the World

By Ben Craker A key aspect of the Fuse strategy is to seek out new and innovative technologies to integrate into machines.  AGCO understands how quickly new technologies change and develop. This means no one company will be able to...

October 13, 2015 by Fuse

AGCO Visits Silicon Valley to Meet Innovators Helping to Feed the World

By Ben Craker A key aspect of the Fuse strategy is to seek out new and innovative technologies to integrate into machines.  AGCO understands how quickly new technologies change and develop. This means no one company will be able to...

By Ben Craker

A key aspect of the Fuse strategy is to seek out new and innovative technologies to integrate into machines.  AGCO understands how quickly new technologies change and develop. This means no one company will be able to provide all the different solutions farmers will want on their own. Partnering allows AGCO to focus on developing core machines and on technologies that have become integral to the machine. A good example of this is the recent announcement for the new VarioGuide and Auto-Guide systems. We have taken the approach that no one will be better at steering a machine built by AGCO than AGCO. However, we are not experts in the development of GNSS receivers, so we have partners like NovAtel, Topcon, and Trimble to provide industry leading receivers with their own unique features that connect into the AGCO machines and technology products.

Royse Event

Pictured L to R: Erica Riel-Carden (Royse Law), Chris Rhodes (AGCO), Roger Royse, Darren Goebel (AGCO

Following the Fuse open partnering strategy, earlier this month a team from AGCO, including Chris Rhodes and Ben Craker from Advanced Technology Solutions and Darren Goebel from Global Crop Care, traveled to Silicon Valley to meet with a variety of tech startups that are focused on agriculture. The Royse Law Firm has created an incubator for these new companies to help them take their innovative ideas to market. Silicon Valley is perhaps the global epicenter for innovation but often the creative people, who have developed a new product or service, don’t have the funding or industry experience to grow their business beyond a fairly small scale. This is where Roger Royce and his “incubator” come in. The AgTech Innovation Network connects startup businesses with potential investors or partners like AGCO to help companies get past the new-idea phase and into the market.

As AGCO looks to the horizon and the next technologies that will change the way farms operate, startups in Silicon Valley will likely play a big role.  Through participation with the groups like the AgTech Innovation Network and Farm2050, AGCO will learn about these emerging technologies first hand and integrate them into products promptly to help growers become more productive, efficient and sustainable.  At last week’s meeting AGCO made connections with companies in areas from fleet and employee management, to food freshness monitoring and traceability, to enhanced wireless communications in remote areas and localized weather information.

While not every product or service fits exactly into the current AGCO portfolio, many of them could be adapted to provide new and exciting tools for growers with AGCO equipment. For instance, some of the sensor technology developed for a robotic fruit harvester may have other uses in application equipment. This is part of the purpose of the incubator, to expose the products to different people who may have slightly different viewpoints on what they could be best used for, or what markets would really see a demand for the technology. It was a very exciting meeting with a lot of companies for the AGCO partnering team to follow up with on future possibilities.

Ben Craker is a Manager for AGCO’s Advanced Technology Solutions group, focusing on Global Partnerships and Standards for Fuse Technologies. Connect with Ben on Twitter @crakerb.

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