InfoAg 2018 Presentation

Grand D
Tue, Jul 17, 2018
1:40pm to 2:20pm


Marc will provide the latest in robotics in agriculture from around the world. 

Recent travels to Chile, Spain, Canada and China, and intense contacts in Germany, France and Japan have supplemented Marc’s extensive earlier experience in global Ag Tech developments. There is no common definition of “Ag Tech”. It is presented as a list, or a map, or a scheme, usually with  logotypes of start ups. Marc will share his insights on how the different areas of Ag Tech logically fit together and how the production unit, or the farm plays a major role. This insight is new, an eye opener, and is presented to the public for the first time at InfoAg 2018.

The development of robots in crop agriculture has accelerated. More applications, more underlying technologies and more countries are involved. Nine examples from 7 countries illustrate what is actually happening. These projects are either in the market today, or in field tests with detailed plans for commercial launches by end 2019, 18 months from today. It will feel like the Farm Progress Show 2021!

The entry into agriculture by major technology companies plays a crucial role. Many ‘giants’ are sniffing at Ag Tech, or have started to work on it. Marc lists 17 of them. Technology for self driving cars is being used in agricultural equipment, today.  

Reuters publishes yearly a ranking of ‘most innovative’ universities’. The good news is that many of these innovators are active in agriculture. In fact, a 600 year old university is a recognized leader! Eleven universities in nine countries are preparing the launch of agricultural robots, indeed.

Marc also will initiate the concept of “clusters”, or how in some places the combination of education, community, research, financing and corporate presence creates the right environment for the development of future technologies, including Ag Tech and robots. St. Louis is an agricultural cluster. Marc will show 15 locations in the world, in 10 countries, where cluster effects are clearly at work, and identifies 5 Ag Tech ‘superclusters’ that may (or will) shape the future of agriculture.

All this innovative drive comes from human ingenuity and creativity. People play a key role. Marc will illustrate this with three profiles of leaders, above the pack personalities, with outsize influence, discrete and effective.  


Marc Vanacht

Ag Business Consultants

University: UFSIA Antwerp and KU Leuven (Belgium), degrees in Business Administration, Law, Economics and Philosophy.
Postgraduate: Stanford University Graduate School of Business (Executive courses)
Fluent in 5 languages: English, French, Dutch, German and Spanish.
1975 - 76: Lintas Advertising Agency in Brussels. Unilever & Canon accounts.
1976 - 91: Monsanto Europe (located in Brussels, Madrid, Paris, Lyon, Brussels)
Advertising Manager for the launch of Roundup herbicide in W. Europe Country Marketing Manager in Spain and in France
Brand Manager, Roundup products for Europe, Africa & Middle East
Strategy Manager Europe, Africa & Middle East
Market identification for GMO technology
Patent expiration Strategy for Roundup
Business, market and products development for new chemicals In-licensing of new products from Japan
1991 - 96: Monsanto HQ in St Louis, Innovation Team, reporting to the CEO
Screened 500 ideas, narrowed them down to 4 concepts launched into the market
Took charge as Intrapreneur of one of the concepts, in the area of Big data for agriculture
1996 - current:
Independent Strategic Business Consultant based in St Louis, Missouri

Consulting Projects:
Customers: multinational corporations, government agencies, farmers organizations, universities
Geography: frequent travel to USA, Americas, W Europe, East Asia, occasionally to S-E Asia and Africa
Advanced technologies in agriculture
Precision agriculture
Technology exchange
Bridge between markets and science, technology & engineering
New product market identification, development and market launch
Product life cycle management