The start-up Aotech wins the third edition of Ebro Talent

Aotech has been announced as the winner of the 3rd edition of Ebro Talent Caring for Innovation, the entrepreneurship programme developed by Ebro Foods along with Loyola University to pinpoint ideas and projects within the food sector, boost innovative talent, as implement sustainable and real solutions which contribute to the improvement of the agri-food sector’s value chain.

Aotech obtained first prize with their presentation of a project aimed at monitoring the production of Ebro sauces by combining NIRS (Near-InfrRed Spectroscopy) technology and a predictive model which uses machine learning algorithms. In this way, information will be gathered in real-time, providing quick decision-making, thus, avoiding the loss of entire batches owed to errors in the composition or due to machinery malfunctions.

Iker García Esteban-Barcina, CEO of Aotech, received two awards: the first, as the winner of the challenge “how to reduce the waste of resources in the value chain through prediction”; and the second, as the winner for the best project.

In this edition, the challenges set by Ebro Talent were linked to different Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), associated with the food sector, were as follows:

  1. The first, “how to reduce the use of plastics in packaging”, with the winner being B’Zeos, with a proposal for packaging made from algae that is fully compostable.
  2. There was also an open challenge, in which all technological solutions or innovations that could be applied to the agri-food value chain and which could contribute to the programme’s objectives were accepted. The two winners of this challenge were Bioferric, dedicated to the regeneration of rice maceration water through a customised filtration system to extract inorganic and organic salts and be able to reuse the water in the process; as well as Bioprocesia, aimed at the revaluation of rice husks, fermenting them for the formulation of specialised animal feedstuffs.

Fourteen shortlisted ideas from 42 submitted projects

Year after year, Ebro Talent Caring for Innovation attracts a greater number of entrepreneurs who want to make their innovative idea a reality. This year a new record number of participants was reached, with 42 projects submitted.

A total of 14 contestants reached the grand finale, all of whom had to present their solutions to an expert jury made up of Silvio Boschi, head of Packaging Procurement at Ebro Foods; José Salvador Moral Soriano, project manager of Manufacturing IT at Ebro Foods; José Luis Pardo, marketing manager at Ebro Foods; Esther Iglesias, R&D director Ready Meals/Ready To Heat and Miguel Ángel Blanco, head of R&D Dry Product Area, both belonging to the R&D&I division of the Ebro Group.

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