Idea

Talking about organic farming (sustainable agriculture, renewable energies-driven tractors, zero emission farms) brought us to the invention.
One night, while drinking a good Italian wine, the idea surprisingly came up: a modern funicular traction system revamping Fowler’s original steam-driven engines.
The new machine shall be equipped with the newer cutting-edge technologies.
We added two automatic machines working in pairs along field's borders. They pull innovative agricultural tools via pulley system and passive cable through a GPS

localization system. Different farm tools allow the most common activities: plowing, sowing, fertilising, harvesting, ...
We choose electricity supply from renewable sources instead of steam engines.
We wondered why the idea hadn't yet come to mind earlier to someone else. We supposed the reason was the business logic of tractors tecnology and of modern food industry.
We agreed that farming needed a better technology.
Time had come to stop talking and put it into practice!
Since that night we cannot think of anything else!

 

Context

In order to grow, farming must learn to save

(FAO - Save and Grow Project 2011)

Farmers over-ploughed, over-fertilised, over-irrigated and over-applied pesticides worldwide. These uncontrolled practices have affected the whole ecosystem and its balance: soil, water, biodiversity. Yield growth rates have begun to go down. (…)

The world has no alternative: pursuing sustainable farming to intensify crop production in order to meet the growing food and forage demand. Sustainable farming shall reduce poverty and protect the environment.

 

S. Pandey (Director of FAO's Plant Production and Protection Division, FAO)

Who we are

manager

We are a group of managers broadly experienced in technological innovation. Since we have seen Agrivol patent, we share a challenging goal: to make it possible that this idea can work and can be put on the market.
We want to be responsible for a significant change in agriculture. We believe it because we know that Agrivol really represents a Copernican revolution that many farmers are waiting for.

Idea

A modern revamping of Fowler’s funicular traction machines.
Two automatic machines work in pairs along field's borders. Field's physical structure is finally saved.
 Fowler's steam engine is replaced by self-produced electric power from renewable energies
(no pollution and no hydrocarbon wastes on crops).
 Machines are equipped with modern technologies. :
        • a GPS-based system supports the tillage;
        • unmanned machines work via an automated on-board system
As a result, they are robust and sensitive.

Patent

Achieved Patents

  • ITALY - RM2009A000437: application submitted in 2009, August 12th; patent achieved in 2012, May 9th; number 1395238.
  • USA - 13/390071: application submitted in 2010, August 4th; patent achieved in 2014, January 7th; number US 8,763,714.

Patents being achieved

  • EUROPE - 10763039.4: application submitted in 2010, August 4th. In 2012, March 20th, the European Patent Office issued a statement in compliance with Rules 161 (1) and 162 EPC. The reply was sent in 2012, July 24th.

Prototype

Implementing and testing the prototype is part of a research project funded by the Ministry for Agricultural policy and coordinated by CREA - ING with the participation of ENAMA. The project has received additional funding from Invitalia to develop feasibility study, market analysis and business plan. The documents are available for venture capital interested in its industrial development.

                      

Development

Project financed by the Lazio Region in the field of Industry 4.0 (call for proposal "Life 2020" POR ERDF 2014-2020). It allows to develop precision, genuinely organic agriculture at competitive costs. The goal is to implement a mechanical system working on farmland driven by a command and control system and equipped with a supervision system. A remote operator activates the system, intervenes in case of anomalies, controls operation. Aid granted: € 541.479,61.

        

Market

Product industrialisation and the way to go to the market depend on the success of pre-industrialisation. Proven product qualities will suggest the winning strategy to access the market. Indeed the key of its success will be an agreement with an established industrial partner.

Qualities

Sustainability

The funicular traction system makes conventional machines working on fields useless. Soil microbiological activity shall be saved. As a result, the soil shall be more productive.

Naturalness

The system preserves soil aerobic activity by avoiding to destroy bacterial micro fauna. The increased quantity of oxygen keeps the soil fertile.

No soil degradation

A softer and uncompacted soil causes an improved permeability that allows a better irrigation.

Ecological

Electrical machines contribute to greenhouse gas emissions reduction.

Biological

Electrical machines cut out fossil fuel use and its harmful impacts on crops. Noise reduction is another positive effect on the environment.

Automation

Automation allows a better human resources allocation and makes organic farming cost-effective. Soil use shall be significantly reduced.