Purpose – This study aims to investigate the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) applied to vertical farms to evaluate whether disrupting technology supports sustainability and increases strategic business model choices in the agricultural sector. The study responds through empirical analysis to the gap on the subject of AI-driven business models present in the growing sector literature. Design/methodology/approach – The paper analyzes the case of “ZERO”, a company linked to the Strategy Innovation ecosystem of the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy. The empirical data were collected through a semi-structured questionnaire, interviews, and the analysis of public news on the business model available in the analyzed case study. The research is empirical and uses exploratory, descriptive analysis to interpret the findings. The article focuses on the evaluation of AI impact on the agricultural sector and its potential to create new business models. Findings – The study identified how AI can support the decision-making process leading to an increase in productivity, efficiency, product quality, and cost reduction. AI helps increase these parameters through a continuous learning process and local production, and the possible decrease in prices directed toward the goal of zero km food with fresh products. AI is a winning technology to support the key elements of the vertical farm business model. However, it must be coupled with other devices, such as robots, sensors, and drones, to collect enough data to enable continuous learning and improvement. Research limitations/implications – The research supports new research trends in AI applied to agriculture. The major implication is the construction of ecosystems between farms, technology providers, policymakers, universities, research centers, and local consumer communities. Practical implications – The ZERO case study underlines the potential of AI as a destructive technology that, especially in vertical farms, eliminates external conditions by increasing productivity, reducing costs, and responding to production needs with adequate consumption of raw materials, boosting both environmental and social sustainability. Originality/value – The study is original, as the current literature presents few empirical case studies on AI supporting business models in agriculture. The study also favors valuable strategic implications for the policies to be adopted in favor of new business models in agriculture.

Artificial Intelligence and new business models in agriculture. The “Zero” case study

Brescia Valerio
2023-01-01

Abstract

Purpose – This study aims to investigate the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) applied to vertical farms to evaluate whether disrupting technology supports sustainability and increases strategic business model choices in the agricultural sector. The study responds through empirical analysis to the gap on the subject of AI-driven business models present in the growing sector literature. Design/methodology/approach – The paper analyzes the case of “ZERO”, a company linked to the Strategy Innovation ecosystem of the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy. The empirical data were collected through a semi-structured questionnaire, interviews, and the analysis of public news on the business model available in the analyzed case study. The research is empirical and uses exploratory, descriptive analysis to interpret the findings. The article focuses on the evaluation of AI impact on the agricultural sector and its potential to create new business models. Findings – The study identified how AI can support the decision-making process leading to an increase in productivity, efficiency, product quality, and cost reduction. AI helps increase these parameters through a continuous learning process and local production, and the possible decrease in prices directed toward the goal of zero km food with fresh products. AI is a winning technology to support the key elements of the vertical farm business model. However, it must be coupled with other devices, such as robots, sensors, and drones, to collect enough data to enable continuous learning and improvement. Research limitations/implications – The research supports new research trends in AI applied to agriculture. The major implication is the construction of ecosystems between farms, technology providers, policymakers, universities, research centers, and local consumer communities. Practical implications – The ZERO case study underlines the potential of AI as a destructive technology that, especially in vertical farms, eliminates external conditions by increasing productivity, reducing costs, and responding to production needs with adequate consumption of raw materials, boosting both environmental and social sustainability. Originality/value – The study is original, as the current literature presents few empirical case studies on AI supporting business models in agriculture. The study also favors valuable strategic implications for the policies to be adopted in favor of new business models in agriculture.
2023
1
18
https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/MD-06-2023-0980/full/html?utm_source=smc_email_onboarding&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=apa_author_journals_access_2023-10-2
AI; business model; vertical farm; agriculture; decision-making; Strategy Innovation Srl
Cavazza Alberto; Dal Mas Francesca; Campra Maura; Brescia Valerio
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1926790
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