Champaign-Urbana has long been a hub for technology as well as agriculture. In the past decade, the two paths have converged. AgTech is the fastest growing sector in the Research Park, with innovation occurring across the value chain – from inputs to production, harvest to post harvest storage, commodity trading to processing. It leverages the university’s long legacy of excellence in computing and data analytics, and its status as a thought leader in newer technologies such as mixed reality; robotics; artificial intelligence; and machine learning.
In a recent News Gazette article, Chancellor Jones discussed plans to develop Champaign-Urbana into “the epicenter of ag tech.” Champaign-Urbana hosts a multitude of AgTech resources, developing a clear path toward making these plans a reality. Research Park is home to a dozen corporate innovation centers focused on developing AgTech.
The Champaign-Urbana startup community crosses sectors, but there’s no doubt that AgTech is one of the area where it shines – and part of the reason why Silicon Prairie News named it the #2 City for startup and entrepreneurial activity in 2018.
- EarthSense – One of 8 AgTech Startups Worth Watching (Successful Farming)
- IntelinAir – One of 7 AgTech Startups to Watch (Agriculture.com)
- INSIGNA – Named One of 12 Moonshot Startups (ChicagoInno)
The Research Park hosts an annual AgTech Innovation Summit in early March, which has grown to 400 attendees including entrepreneurs, investors, corporations, startups, academics, students, growers, and others in the agribusiness sector.
Learn more about Champaign-Urbana’s AgTech development here.