B2B News for Tuesday, September 7, 2021: Farming Robots, Duckweed Protein & New CEOs at Panasonic and Formel D

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Agriculture is a B2B sector we’ve only covered through its interconnections with logistics and supply chain management. That must change. With more focus on the potential for unfairness between the industry and its large migrant workforce, technology is playing a larger role with implications for workers, developers and everyone concerned with the food supply.

IDTechEx’s new report on the Agricultural Robotics Market 2022-2032 explores the technical and market factors shaping the emerging industry around agricultural robotics. The industry has grown rapidly, spurred on by advances in robotics technology and artificial intelligence.

The report highlights that the industry “may be set to help alleviate some of the labor issues that are currently threatening global agriculture.”

Full report: https://www.idtechex.com/en/reports/food-and-agtech/118

Also in AgTech news is Plantible Foods announcement that it has closed $21.5 million US in Series A funding. Plantible has now raised a total of $27 million US. Plantible has developed an agricultural platform to produce protein from Lemna, more commonly known as duckweed. The company says its plant-based protein emulates the characteristics of meat and enables food companies to match its taste and texture.

“Plantible is not competing with other plant proteins, our goal is to remove chickens and cows from the food supply system,” said Tony Martens, Co-Founder and CEO of Plantible Foods. “We are cultivating a new plant to change the broken food supply chain that was exposed during the pandemic. Currently available plant proteins don’t pull their weight when it comes to competing with animal-based products on taste and nutrition. By combining plant science, biochemistry and engineering, we are able to create drop-in replacements for these widely used animal-derived proteins without forcing consumers to sacrifice on either taste or nutrition, paving the way for an accelerated transition towards a healthier planet.”

Press release: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/plantible-raises-21-5-million-to-redefine-the-future-of-food-301368064.html

Myungwon Lee is the new CEO of Panasonic Corporation of North America as of October 1, 2021. Lee is the current the Chief Human Resources Officer and Vice President of Corporate Planning and Strategic Initiatives at Panasonic Corporation of North America. Michael Moskowitz is leaving Panasonic after more than a decade.

“This is a pivotal time for our company and in the technology industry, and I am honored by the opportunity to lead Panasonic Corporation of North America as we seek to drive sustainable growth,  deliver more complete, differentiated solutions and create better experiences for our customers,” said Lee. “I am excited about Panasonic’s future and our role in contributing to society while moving the world forward.”

Press release: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/megan-myungwon-lee-named-chairwoman-and-chief-executive-officer-of-panasonic-corporation-of-north-america-301368178.html

There are also changes in management at Formel D, a global service provider to the automotive and supplier industry. The company has named Dr. Thomas Klukas the new Chief Executive Officer of the group, effective yesterday. Former CEO Dr. Jürgen Laakmann will continue to work with the company as a consultant.

“Our company’s history is a success story – and I am very proud that I was able to write it together with our management and employees,” said Dr. Laakmann. “Now I am delighted to pass the company’s operative management on to my valued colleagues Dr. Thomas Klukas and Gian Mario Deligios, which I do with every confidence, and to continue to support them as a consultant.”

Further information: https://formeld.com/company/management/

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Kate Baggott

Kate Baggott is a former Managing Editor of B2BNN. Her technology and business journalism has appeared in the Technology Review, the Globe and Mail, Canada Computes, the Vancouver Sun and the Bay Street Bull. She is the author of the short story collections Love from Planet Wine Cooler and Dry Stories. Find links to recent articles by following her on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/kate-baggott-9a0306/