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International Award to Mebiol Inc. with “Imec” technology

International Award to Mebiol Inc. with “Imec” technology


UNIDO ITPO Italy awarded “Imec Film Farming” technology invented by Japanese agribusiness company, Mebiol Inc. the best prize in the general category of the award. The award is presented for a company or an organization with innovative technologies being engaged in challenges faced among the developing countries. 

Mebiol is one of the company registered on the “STePP (Sustainable Technology Promotion Platform)” constructed by ITPO Tokyo for informing a wide range of information on the technology of Japanese companies for sustainable industrial development. ITPO Tokyo supported Mebiol to apply for this award. Consequently, with the collaboration between ITPO Italy and Tokyo, a prominent Japanese technology has appeared in developing nations. Both ITPOs will continue to strengthen further collaboration.


“Imec Film Farming” technology has enabled farmers to grow plants even in the places like desert (less water) or a land damaged from sea water to farmers by utilizing the hydrogel film which allows to penetrate only water and nourishment. Additionally, the crops can grow into high-sugar and high-nutritional ones as they produce a large amount of sugar, amino acids when trying to absorb water from nano-sized gap on the film.


In the ceremony, held on May in Italy as part of the opening day of the 3-day EXCO 2019, only eight companies and organizations were awarded in total. The winners have been awarded on the basis of different categories, including: women, young under 35, nexus between food and climate change, biodiversity and disruptive innovation. This year, the award registered an outstanding success, gathering 440 applications from over 100 countries and 5 continents, such as startups, universities, incubators, research and technology transfer centers, associations and NGOs, innovators and agro entrepreneurs. The proposals were evaluated by an ad hoc jury which, among the others, included the CNR – National Research Council, University of Wageningen, and UNIDO ITPO Shanghai.

At the end of the selection process, the jury selected the following projects:

Category Technology/Idea Content
Overall Imec Film Farming – JAPAN A film made of a particular hydrogel that allows the cultivation of plants with less water and soil use.
Overall Aflazero – ITALY Post-harvest ozone-based treatment technology which eliminates 98% of aflatoxin contamination in grains and other crops.
Overall AgriProtein – UK / SOUTH AFRICA Innovative technology that uses insects to produce proteins through a bio-conversion process of organic waste.
Women Atmonia – ICELAND It produces an on-farm, zero carbon nitrogen fertilizers obtained exclusively from air, water and renewable energy.
Young – Under 35 phos-FATE – ITALY Project developed by a CNR researcher who conceived a sustainable phosphorus-based fertilizer made from recycled phosphate-rich fishery by-products.
Agro-food & Climate Change Transforming lands, transforming lives – BANGLADESH The project presents a best practice of climate change resilience, supporting farmers and displaced people in flood areas offering training and improved technologies in the management of livelihoods through the “sandbar cropping”.
Agro-food & Biodiversity CAMGEW – CAMEROON This project figured out that apiculture can act as a smart solution to protect forests from bushfires, through the direct involvement of local communities in beekeeping.
Mention of honor “Disruptive Innovation” Farmcrowdy – NIGERIA It is the Nigerian largest digital agriculture platform, focused on the connection between farm sponsors and farmers.


More information on EXCO 2019, where UNIDO was present with an institutional stand, are available on the dedicated website: