Iamus Technologies, an artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics start-up headquartered at NovaUCD, has been named as a finalist for the 2021 Future Food Asia Award with a US $100,000 (€82,000) prize.

The company is among 10 start-ups from around the world, and the only one from Ireland, selected to pitch its innovative ag-tech solutions to investors, industry leaders and sector experts during this week’s 2021 Future Food Asia (virtual) conference which is being hosted from Singapore.

Iamus has developed an AI and autonomous robot solution called ‘Gallus’ that works within chicken houses to constantly monitor key welfare and environmental variables in the chicken shed.

By monitoring these variables, the company’s technology allows farmers to make data-driven decisions to improve efficiency and sustainability outcomes while also improving biosecurity and animal welfare of chicken flocks.

These improvements result in higher margins through the reduction the feed costs and improvement in meat yields, according to the company.

Opportunity to raise profile in Asia market

Shane Kiernan, CEO of Iamus Technologies said that this opportunity to pitch at the award finals can “further expand access to potential customers and investors”, posing a “massive opportunity” for the business.

“The 2021 Future Food Asia Award finals represents a massive opportunity for Iamus to raise our profile in the key Asia market,” Kiernan said.

“Iamus has already established a significant pipeline of customers in the region, including a trial commencing in Thailand later this year.”

Last year the company, which has to date raised over €1.1 million in seed funding from multiple investors, won the Alfie Cox Best Start-Up Award 2020 at the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena Awards run in association with the National Ploughing Association.

Kiernan added: “To support further product development and our trials in Asia and Europe, we are opening a funding round this June and look forward to speaking to investors who are excited to join us in our journey to bring robotics in the $200 (€164) billion poultry industry.”

Future Food Asia Award finalists

The other nine finalists for the 2021 Future Food Asia Award in addition to Iamus are: Allozymes (Singapore); Bondi Bio (Australia); Bygen (Australia); Change Foods (Australia); Fasal (India); IXON (Hong Kong SAR, China); REharvest (South Korea); Senior Deli (Hong Kong SAR, China); and Sustainable Foods (New Zealand).

The jury which will select the winner of the award includes: Dr. Ralph Graichen, senior director of Food and Consumer Cluster at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s Biomedical Research Council; Xiuling Guo, managing director, Cargill Global Edible Oil Solutions; Francesca Kleemans, managing director, Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate; and Isabelle Decitre, founder and CEO of ID Capital.

The fifth annual Future Food Asia conference, with a theme of ‘AgriFoodTech 2.0’, is being hosted this week (June 7 to 11) from Singapore and brings together decision makers from leading agriculture and food corporations, influential investors, rising innovators and other key ecosystem players.

Further information on the conference is available online.