Farmstar Goes Global:
Corporate Entrepreneurship Bringing Sustainable Value Innovation to Agribusinesses
Author(s): Benjamin Warr, Anne Marie Carrick-Cagna, Luk Van Wassenhove
Institution: INSEAD, France
Competition Year: 2010
Track: Corporate Sustainability
Key words: Corporate entrepreneurship, Precision agriculture, Agribusiness, Remote sensing, Co-operatives, Induced innovation, Eco-efficiency, Sustainable value innovation
Courses: Strategy, Corporate Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Sustainability, Technology Operations Management
Target audience: MBA, Entrepreneurs, Business Executives
In 2006 Infoterra France was created as a subsidiary of European aerospace group EADSAstrium to develop and commercialise earth observation satellite technologies with partners Arvalis. Among these was the precision agriculture product – Farmstar. Farmstar provides farmers with recommendations throughout the growing season and enabled subscribers to manage their crops with unprecedented precision. Research began in 1996 and by 2009, 30 agricultural cooperatives representing almost 9,000 farmers and some 400,000 hectares of land, had adopted the service. By 2008 with Farmstar, Infoterra-Arvalis had captured a near monopoly of the rapidly growing market in France. This joint-venture had succeeded where many other companies had tried and failed. The technology’s potential was enormous but could they now grow and protect their position as leaders in the French market and successfully transfer the knowledge to develop new markets outside France?
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