Lely proudly announces Oculyze as winner of the second ‘Feed the Future’ challenge

Maassluis, 11 October 2021– Oculyze based in Wildau, Germany, is named as the winner of the second edition of ‘Feed the Future by Lely’. Lely is the leading supplier of robotics and data management for the dairy farm. In partnership with Rockstart - one of Europe’s first startup accelerators - Lely scouted the next generation of tech pioneers, who could innovate and improve the dairy industry with technology solutions.

Oct. 11, 2021

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Dr. Ulrich M. Tilich and Hannah Braun (left) of Oculyzs are named as the winner of the Feed the Future challenge by André van Troost, CEO of Lely.

André van Troost, CEO of Lely, commented on the winner: ‘The four finalists all had very strong pitches, but the one that really stood out for us was Oculyze. We very much believe in the technique and software presented. Oculyze has a strong feeling with our industry, which was also important for us. They ticked the sustainable, profitable and enjoyable boxes. It wasn’t easy, but there could only be one winner.’

About Oculyze
Oculyze will now receive the opportunity to pilot with Lely. Oculyze is using machine learning and artificial intelligence to transfer the computer vision software for lab equipment from the table top to the cloud. This technology would make it possible to perform certain tests in the barn, receiving the results within minutes via your smartphone, instead of waiting for the lab results for a few days.

Hannah Braun, Product Manager at Oculyze: ‘We are super happy and very relieved. It has been two intense days, but we are very honored that we have won this challenge out of the 82 applicants. We are really looking forward to do this pilot with Lely. Because we want to establish a use case for our technology, winning this challenge gives us the opportunity to do so.’

Revolutionising dairy farming
Following the success of the first edition in 2019, startups were invited from all over the world to apply and compete in this second Feed the Future Challenge. The only prerequisite was that their technology could be applied to the dairy industry.

Lely has a strong focus on the future of dairy farming and is always looking for new ways of creating a more profitable, enjoyable and sustainable future. The Feed the Future event is an important initiative to invest in innovations that contribute to greater transparency and that prioritize improving the lives of farmers and animals in the food production process. The challenge was designed to tackle four key areas in global dairy farming: farm animal welfare, pioneering enhancements of machinery, sustainable and efficient production, and transparency in the information chain.

Worldwide startup pool
A total of four startups, chosen from an initial pool of 82 startups from 22 countries, competed to be the winner of the Feed the Future challenge. Their technologies focused on microscopic imagery, fleet management and sensor tech. They went through a three week programme, where they met with a pool of 50+ experts from Lely with the goal to learn more about the vision and goals of Lely. But also to align on where their technology could add the most value and design a pilot around that.

They were invited to the Lely Campus in The Netherlands on the 6th and 7th of October to meet the Executive Board, share insights on how the future of farming is changing, and of course to pitch in front of an expert jury made up of Andre van Troost (CEO), Tanja Roeleveld (Sustainability Manager), Korstiaan Blokland (Head of Innovation), and Martijn Boelens (CTO).

Collaboration with Rockstart
Lely believes the global challenges of population growth and climate change demand innovative solutions to feed the future. Not only by increasing food supply, but also by providing innovations that will allow the dairy farming industry to become more sustainable, time-efficient and improve the quality of life of both people and animals on this planet. Both Lely and Rockstart see an ideal future, one that will see machines self-maintain while performing sustainable production in optimum conditions by using improved information. ‘Feed the Future by Lely’ brings us another step closer to making this a reality.

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