Digging for Innovation – Finalists Announced

After a great response to our ‘Digging for Innovation‘ competition, we are delighted to share with you our six finalists:

Wroot Water –”I have been interested in farming growing crops all my life, so over the last 25 years we have adapted irrigation systems and implement them in the U.K. to use water more efficiently together with reducing soil damage growing vegetable and potatoes. We feel that the Wroot Water System is one way to conserve soil structure and the air water balance correct so keeping the soil healthy from a practical point.”

Hai – “Our project aims to help agricultural breeders identify the best plant varieties quickly, by tapping into key information underneath the soil. Our imaging solution helps breeders track the development of roots and their subsoil processes 24/7 without having to dig out anything. Creating a new breeding method fully focused on what breeders weren’t able to see before.”

Gentle Farming – “We are building a business model and system to allow farmers to quantify and market the amount of soil carbon they are sequestering into their soils per year.  By bringing money into the hands of farmers they will see the benefits of improving their soil health.”

Lawton – Inventor Tom Lawton aims to restructure intensively farmed top soil with his innovative Slow Worm soil regenerator, giving nature a helping hand. The concept uses a unique geometric form, which has the potential to improve the fluid movement of soil where earth worm abundance may have declined; improving drainage, aeration and soil structure by weaving organic matter through the soil in a more modest and less destructive way. With the potential to also improve soil structure for carbon sequestration this is a novel idea that deserves to be explored scientifically.

European Carbon Farmers“What drives European Carbon Farmers is a vision that in the near future the agricultural sector in the EU will be fully emissions regulated. So, if you are a farmer and you are net emitter of GHG, you will have to pay for what you are emitting. If we would be in such a scenario right now, most of the European farms are out of business. In order to prevent this, we are creating an agricultural carbon credit market in order to encourage this transition – very importantly! – in a financially viable way.”

MycoNourish“At MycoNourish, we add value for growers. We do this with beneficial fungi that work in symbiosis with crops to enhance yields. Our exciting innovation allows us to customise new advanced strains of these fungi to pair with specific crops, and tailor them to solve the most important problem in each one — delivering targeted benefits and providing a reliable, sustainable means of reducing wastage, improving yields, and increasing profitability.”


The finalists will take part in a bootcamp next week, led by our innovation specialist Sarah Carr, BASF’s Mike Green and Soil Health Expert Jenni Dungait before final judging will take place in January. 

Good luck to all the finalists!