Smart Yields is among 16 winners in a global innovation challenge hosted by the Canton of Fribourg in western Switzerland.

The Canton of Fribourg launched the publicly sponsored Agri & Co Challenge in January 2018 as an international call for innovative startup companies active in the food, agriculture and biomass industries. Smart Yields was selected out of 154 candidates from 53 countries by a panel of judges representing industry-leading organizations.

Later this year, Smart Yields and other winners will open offices at the Saint-Aubin Innovation Space in Saint-Aubin, a municipality in the Canton of Fribourg. Companies from countries including Canada, Chile, Brazil, Romania and Germany are also represented alongside Swiss businesses. Smart Yields is one of two winning companies from the U.S.

“This highly competitive challenge allows Smart Yields to grow its international footprint to serve agricultural technology needs in Europe, as well as learn from leaders throughout the region,” said Vincent Kimura, CEO of Smart Yields. In 2018, Smart Yields established offices in Holland, which is widely known for its innovative agricultural practices. “Fribourg has a rich agricultural history and is looking to expand its excellence in the industry. We look forward to being a part of that growth.”

Agri & Co is designed to foster collaborations, create value chains and enable innovative initiatives to fuel sustainable economic development. At Saint-Aubin, Smart Yields will have access to state-of-the-art greenhouses, offices, laboratories and agricultural land for research and development.

Smart Yields connects farmers, agricultural researchers and their communities through crowd-sourced data gathered from a long-range network of integrated, state-of-the-art sensors that measure everything from soil health to inputs such as water, energy and nutrients. The company recently launched an extensive pilot program with the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union in Colorado, covering nearly 1 million acres and supplying dozens of fruit growers with data that has saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in high-value crop losses. The company’s global expansion includes markets in Europe and Asia, as well as the establishment of Centers of Excellence to encourage farming best practices.