Winning equipment provides milk volume and temperature measurements in storage tanks.
A tool for monitoring milk storage tanks, able to provide parameters of its operation. This was the winning idea of the Startup Challenge 2019, in the fourth edition of Ideas for Milk, organized by the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa). The final of the competition took place this Friday (22) in Sao Paulo (SP). Two projects, from Juiz de Fora, for segments of the milk supply chain were among the eight finalists.
The winning project, Volutech, was developed at the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV) and can be used to detect lid opening and reservoir leveling, as well as providing milk volume and temperature measurements inside. Through an application, the producer receives alerts for unusual tank changes. According to the UFV veterinary student and one of the creators of the equipment, Sávio Filho, the tool comes as a substitute for rulers, commonly used by producers, but prone to errors. “Volutech comes to add quality to milk, so that it maintains its nutritional and functional characteristics, and also to ensure safety for the whole chain, since we managed to eliminate the error of the ruler when measuring milk volume and a series of other factors that are intrinsic to the milk chain,” he explains.
The winning team had participated in Vacathon 2018, a programming marathon conceived by Embrapa in Juiz de Fora, and had Ideas for Milk as its next goal. “Throughout this year of work, we have prepared specifically for this event, we have been improving our product and now we have a well-formed and robust equipment,” explains Sávio. “It is such a pleasure that I lack words to describe what it is like to be here in São Paulo and have received the champion award. It's a sense of accomplishment.” In addition to Savio, the team is made up of dairy cattle production and nutrition teacher Polyana Rotta, mechanical engineer Vitor Fernandes, electrical engineer Lucas Sanders, agronomy student Gustavo Estrada and an undergraduate in information systems Diogo Pereira.
Second place in the competition went to Bionexus, the milk quality management system, while the CriaTech Integrado project, a calf breeding monitoring platform, took third place.
In its fourth edition, Ideas for Milk has shown “substantial growth,” according to Embrapa Gado de Leite's chief general, Paulo do Carmo Martins. “We went from, for example, three states involved in Brazil to 11 states. We are having an increasing participation of companies. In this event, we have 146 companies that are following. It is the first and only ecosystem of Brazilian agribusiness focused on innovation, with a perspective of increasing growth and making Brazil lead the process of digital transformation in the milk sector. ”
As Paulo do Carmo points out, Ideas for Milk's intention is to unite young researchers with producers and industries linked to the dairy sector. “There are young people with incredible solutions that can impact this chain, leading to cost savings and improved product quality. It is a very wide chain, with revenues of R$ 86 billion. We need to be increasingly competitive and Ideas for Milk fulfills this mission: it puts young people in touch with entrepreneurs. ”