This is an extract of the article published by the European Innovation Council (EIC). Check out the full article here.
This time last year AB inBev, the Belgian beer giant, co-hosted an EIC Corporate Day and opened the doors of their brewery for 32 EIC-innovators. Nearly 100 senior leaders from AB InBev welcomed startups and scaleups that provide innovative technologies in circular economy, smart energy, urban mobility and digital solutions. Let’s take a look back at the event and see what inspirational stories and developments came from it.
Computomics is a German bioinformatics company that tackles the challenges of data-driven crop production systems. During the EIC Corporate Day with AB InBev, CEO Dr. Sebastian Schultheiss pitched their software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology xSeedScore®, which predicts crop phenotypes, powered by artificial intelligence algorithms.
During the matchmaking event, Sebastian had the opportunity to talk to Paolo Bazzoli, the Global Barley & Malt Specialist about the global aspect of barley breeding at AB InBev for local brewing and sourcing operations: “Paolo put us in touch with his colleagues in Colorado (USA), their largest and technologically most advanced barley breeding program. Together with the breeders, we discussed current and upcoming challenges in barley breeding and the need to develop future-proof varieties for a changing climate. Our xSeedScore technology accelerates breeding by predicting how new plant varieties will perform in untested locations and future climates. It can easily incorporate large data sets from multiple data sources using our machine learning algorithms. Our model offers accurate predictions for breeders to advance elite lines faster and future-proof the breeding pipeline for changing climates. AB InBev’s breeding team agreed that we were a good match, as the team had plans in place for extended data collection and we could offer a ready-to-use technology to integrate the data into a model for breeding predictions. The logical next step was to work together in a pilot project on a scale that would be acceptable during COVID-times. What we achieved in this typical project was a good understanding for each other. We analyzed and evaluated AB InBev’s available data and together we set up a comprehensive strategy to leverage all data sources most efficiently. This will be the core of a highly accurate prediction model, optimized for AB InBev’s barley breeding goals. To fully leverage the benefits of xSeedScore® we are now working on moving towards the next level in our partnership, to build a strong collaboration lasting several years, as improving crops takes several breeding cycles over many years.”
“The EIC put us in front of the right person, someone with a global view. Discussing our business during an EIC Corporate Day has a much larger impact than if we set up the meeting ourselves. By being invited, people were able to listen to us and have an NDA in place within a few days, so they could talk about the data sets. That helped to get a deal done fairly quickly.”
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