Right after consolidating the acquisition of Nufarm's assets, the Brazilian subsidiary of Japanese company Sumitomo Chemical announces that it has signed a technological cooperation agreement with the innovation hub AgTech Garage. Installed in the Technological Park of Piracicaba, described as the ‘Brazilian Silicon Valley”, AgTech Garage gathers almost 400 connected startups, in addition to more than 1,000 active professionals and around 30 large supporting companies.
Hub CEO, chemical engineer José Tomé emphasizes that AgTech Garage is exclusively focused on agribusiness. "All initiatives are aimed at increasing the sustainability, competitiveness and innovation potential of the agribusiness", highlights the executive. “Through our collaborative digital platform, we connect startups to open business opportunities at major partner companies, such as Sumitomo Chemical. Also involved in this relationship are investors in the sector, farmers and academia. ”
For Sumitomo Chemical's director of customer marketing Latam, agronomist Celso Macedo, the narrowing of business between large corporations and startups with a disruptive profile represents “a path of no return”. "This model tends to accelerate the development of digital solutions, one of the strategic axes for the growth pursued by Sumitomo Chemical, and will also add more value to our business", says the executive.
According to Macedo, Sumitomo Chemical is a company focused on innovation, research and development of new chemical molecules. “Today we face the challenge of combining this knowledge, inherent to the company's business, with the full mastery of advanced technologies in support of productivity. Digitalized agribusiness is advancing day by day and the most robust solutions come from within technology-based startups. ”
Macedo adds that Sumitomo Chemical Brasil has invested heavily in the areas of digital marketing, precision agriculture and digitization in support of pest, disease and weed management. "The proximity to startups of the AgTech Garage hub will bring even more agility and competitiveness, at a time when the matrix chose Brazil as the main market to grow in agribusiness", concludes the executive.
In the last few days, the president of Sumitomo Chemical for Latin America, Juan Agustin Ferreira Espinosa, stressed that Brazilian agribusiness is the main focus for advancing the company, in the sector, in Latin America. According to Espinosa, the Crop and Health area accounted, in 2018, for 15% of the company's total revenue of US $ 21 billion, a figure equivalent to US $ 3.2 billion. With the acquisition of Nufarm, according to the executive, this proportion jumps to 30%, driven by the agricultural solutions business. Still according to Espinosa, the expectation is that in five years this participation will be raised to 50% of the total revenue, anchored in the launch of products.
Headquartered in Tokyo, Sumitomo Chemical is one of Japan's leading chemical companies. Founded in 1913, it is present in more than 180 countries, with 32,000 employees. Its main office in Brazil is in the city of São Paulo. The company also maintains a research center located in São Paulo, Mogi Mirim. With the acquisition of Nufarm, Sumitomo Chemical starts to operate a manufacturing plant in Maracanaú (CE) and eight distribution centers positioned on the agricultural frontier.
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