RWTH spin-off crop.zone receives grant from Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture
crop.zone has received a €800,000 grant by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) to help farmers across Europe shift away from herbicides like Diquat and Glyphosat towards more sustainable farming solutions. The start-up offers a unique hybrid herbicide concept that can revolutionize conventional weeding techniques. By pre-treating plants with an organically regulated conductive liquid (Volt.Fuel) and sequentially applying electrical charge with the help of an electrophysical weeder, crop.zone helps control weeds with a very high degree of efficiency and lower energy consumption than chemical-based weed control technologies.
The support by the BMEL and Rentenbank marks another milestone in the young start-up’s history. What started as a research project at RWTH Aachen University in 2019 quickly became a successful spin-off in early 2020, when the team around Dirk Vandenhirtz, CEO of crop.zone, participated in the pilot phase of the RWTH Innovation Sprint. With the help of a joint pre-seed fund of RWTH and IHK Aachen, the start-up subsequently expanded to the agriculture markets in the Netherlands, Belgium, and France (read more here).
With the latest grant, the AgTech start-up now aims to make their innovative and sustainable solution available to farmers from all over Europe and contribute to more sustainable and healthy weed control across borders – an effort that is “just in time”, as Federal Minsiter Cem Özdemir underlined in light of current discussions on how to tackle the problem of chemical herbicides on the European level.