Japan start-ups target global challenges

Japan start-ups target global challenges

Owners of start-ups from Japan share their visions and practices in carrying out smart farming methods at the Sustainability Expo 2023. (Photo: SX 2023)
Owners of start-ups from Japan share their visions and practices in carrying out smart farming methods at the Sustainability Expo 2023. (Photo: SX 2023)

A number of Japanese start-ups have showcased their inventions aimed at improving global food security, facilitating green and efficient agricultural practices and contributing to the fight against global warming.

Their innovations are being exhibited at the Sustainability Expo 2023 (SX2023), being held at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre (QSNCC) in Bangkok from Sept 29 until Oct 8.

Algae Bio, a Japanese company, presented three technologies invented with the aim of increasing the volume of food produced while limiting the negative impact of this on the environment.

The company's Red Biotechnology was created with the capacity to raise the production of algae-based healthy foods, including some antioxidants, three-fold, while its Green Biotechnology is designed to enhance the production of non-genetic engineering food products, said its CEO Amane Kimura.

The company's White Biotechnology was invented specifically to help absorb carbon dioxide, using algae, in the production of bioplastic, which is believed to help achieve carbon neutrality, said Mr Kimura.

As humankind consumes 1.7 times the amount of food produced each year, it is necessary to find new sources of food in order to cope with this high demand and deal with the waste left after the food is produced and consumed, Mr Kimura said.

"Algae are an interesting option as they use carbon dioxide in photosynthesis and can grow in freshwater, seawater and even polluted water discharged from factories," the chief operating officer said.

There are estimated to be more than 300,000 species of algae in the world, while only approximately 30 are well understood and used by humans, meaning the other 90% are awaiting further study and could potentially also be used.

Polar Star Space, another Japanese start-up company taking part in the sustainable technology fair, has come up with a new satellite-based technology which is capable of detecting an epidemic among plant diseases at an early stage.

"We've learnt a great deal from a single leaf. And with the help of our new technology, we can find it (a plant disease epidemic) fast," said Masashi Kawaguchi, Chief Marketing Officer of Polar Star Space.

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