Kicks Off with theFocus on Sustainable Agriculture and Cross-Border Collaboration
On May 17, 2023, K-Stadium @KBTG Building hosted the first Japan-Thailand Startup Summit AGRITECH BRIDGE 2023. The event, co-organized by KASIKORNBANK PCL, AgVenture Lab, and Norinchukin Bank, brought together leading experts, investors, and startup companies from both countries to nurture relationships and encourage collaborative sustainable practices in the field of food and agriculture between Japan and Thailand.
The event commenced with opening remarks from Mr. Koki Ogino, CEO of AgVenture Lab, highlighting the necessity of sustainable agriculture practices and the importance of technological and know-how exchanges between Thailand and Japan that are centered on food, agriculture, and sustainability. In so doing, Mr. Ogino placed an emphasis on the MoU partnership and multi-sectoral collaboration between KASIKORNBANK and Norinchukin Bank incorporating future innovations to promote the agritech and foodtech sectors.
Followed by Mr. Pattarapong Kanhasuwan, Executive Vice President, KASIKORNBANK PCL., shed light on the pertinent relationship between Japan and Thailand and honored the event as a bridge that deepens ties in the new dimension of cooperation. Furthermore, he reiterated that KASIKORNBANK is eager to support Japanese startups in the Thai and AEC market, particularly in the fields of food and agriculture. Lastly, Mr. Kanhasuwan stressed the importance of the Nan Sandbox Project as a pioneering initiative of Thailand that fundamentally addresses the well-being of people, society, and the environment by leveraging technological capacity, innovation, and human collaboration – all of which is crucial to fostering paths to sustainability.
The event also featured a 15-minute business pitch from each of the eight leading Japanese startups to showcase their innovative solutions and business models, followed by a Q&A session to exchange ideas and dialogues. HEMIX (Business Innovation Partners) has introduced the world’s first plant-derived bioplastic that utilizes agricultural, forestry, and fishery wastes; SAGRI uses satellite data and AI-based technology to tackle agricultural and environmental challenges; EF Polymer fabricates an organic super-absorbent polymer based on waste including banana and orange peels to potentially help solve drought and soil degradation; Ecologgie produces eco-friendly nutrient-rich protein by collaborating with local farmers in developing countries and using food and agricultural residues with the purposes of improving farmers’ household income; Ac-Planta has developed and manufactures Skeepon, a material that protects plants from environmental stress with the power of acetic acid; Towing produces high-performance soil with effective microorganisms that is capable of carbon fixation in agricultural lands; Agri Smile develops bio-stimulant products based on an advanced research system to support cultivation and promote smart agriculture; Agnavi has developed ICHI-GO-CAN and Canpai, both of which are sake brands manufactured in a 180-mL can that is handy, appropriate in volume, stylish, and convenient to carry.
The event also included a networking session that allowed attendees to connect with experts and investors in the agriculture sector, while enjoying authentic sushi served by CP-UORIKI. In the closing remarks, Mr. Narutoshi Ochiai, Executive Director of AgVenture Lab, expressed his appreciation for the success of the summit and emphasized the importance of collaboration and innovation in the agriculture sector between Japan and Thailand. Overall, the Japan-Thailand Startup Summit AGRITECH BRIDGE 2023 was a resounding success, highlighting the significance of cross-border collaboration and sustainable agriculture practices. Essentially, the event paved the way for the future in the agritech and foodtech fields as well as other business endeavors that are set to take shape in Thailand, Japan, and Southeast