Problem:

  • Harvesting blueberries is heavily reliant on hand labor due to the precision needed to carefully handle the delicate fruit.
  • Current automated harvesters are inefficient and have a high rate of damage to the fruit. This fruit can then only be sold in the frozen or processed market.
  • Naturipe Farms sought proposals for the development of an industrial prototype of an automated blueberry harvester for blueberries that can be sold as fresh fruit.

yet2 Strategy and Role:

  • Combined effort of outreach and searching for appropriate groups to submit proposals for the challenge
  • Developed content for the website and outreach materials
  • Evaluating initial/final proposals, ranking proposals, and presenting the most relevant ones to Naturipe Selection committee

Results:

  • yet2’s efforts led Naturipe to realize that one group was unlikely to develop a complete solution and a wide variety of expertise was required for the type of automated harvester they were seeking.
  • yet2’s ranking and thorough assessment of the proposals guided the Naturipe Selection Committee to chose groups with expertise in one or more area and are willing to collaborate with other groups for the final development of the blueberry harvester of the future.

outreach

Conclusion:

  • Naturipe Farms awarded $10,000 to each of the semi-finalists and is moving forward with each of them.