Digitalization this and digitalization that – you cannot help running into this worn-out term anywhere these days. However, the fact is that digitalization is present in the operation of almost any business enterprise, bringing new possibilities to every industry. There also lies unutilized potential in bioeconomy that can be harnessed as a competitive advantage by means of digitalization.
Enormous potential in bioeconomy
The core of bioeconomy is to utilize the biological natural resources and turn them into food, energy, and other products and services. According to Bioeconomy.fi, bioeconomy is not a new industry but ‘combines many sectors of primary production and the processing industry, and the markets of finished products’.
Already, numerous different technological applications and services have been developed for the sector, such as an online timber trading site, crop production planning, and a route optimization program for planning shifts and division of work. These and other services that increase due to digitalization enable ever more efficient business operations and provide an opportunity for growing the competitive advantage. However, they are only a superficial scratch on the unutilized possibilities of bioeconomy!
Digitalization makes the entire food chain visible
Today, digital solutions mostly respond to individual challenges. For instance, there are excellent systems in place for cultivation planning, but they are often dependent on the farmer’s activity in typing the changes into the system manually. Also, the transfer of data ends with the next phase in the food chain: when grain has been harvested and is transported elsewhere, comprehensive information about the grain’s origin is not automatically transferred to the grocery store, let alone all the way to the consumer. Thus consumers must settle for information on the product’s origin available in the packaging and often can only guess at how the field has been fertilized, or what the animals have been fed and how they are doing.
Digitalization helps automate the transfer of data throughout the whole food chain, from field fertilizer all the way to a package of food bought from the store. Sensors can help both measure and optimize fertilizer amounts for fields and transmit this data, automatically, from the farmer to the bakery and to the consumer.
Also, different field concentration measurements can be carried out automatically by means of sensors, and this data helps anticipate measures and deal with problems and their root causes. Such measures are not only eco-friendly, but they also produce a great deal of valuable data.
Don’t be afraid of change – the future is full of possibilities
We do not yet know how to utilize the possibilities provided by digitalization to a sufficient degree. Either the benefits of technology cannot be seen, or changes in set practices cause fear in people. Digitalization requires a reform of business models and automation of processes and, first and foremost, changes to the old way of thinking. However, much can be achieved when doing this in a sensible way, so why not take advantage of this technology?
We at Mtech want to encourage everyone, especially the decision-makers, to be active and open to new information and technology, and to make the most of business partners and networks with which the risks can be minimized.
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