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Leveraging data to help researchers accelerate sustainability

With a 160-year history of science-based innovation, Solvay has never stopped coming up with creative solutions that enable a more sustainable world by helping industries solve their problems and increase efficiency. A very recent example of Digital Technology efforts can be found in Datagrow, a web app designed to facilitate and accelerate the formulation of agrochemicals and improve their environmental impact.

Digitization for acceleration

Supported by the new group digital strategy, the key objective of this key project is to help Solvay’s customers in the agrochemical industry speed up their development process through quicker collaboration and faster innovation. How? By making recommendations for their co-formulants that save a great deal of testing in the lab while decreasing the environmental impact of pesticides, all thanks to digitization.

Thanks to quicker crop formulation development, researchers can focus on higher value activities in new markets such as biocontrol products or green solvents. What’s more, customer requests can be answered much faster thanks to Datagrow’s historical database.

Half a century of expertise in an app

The team that developed Datagrow figured it could leverage the company’s extensive expertise in agrochemical formulations and put it to good use by making it accessible through a web app. The result is that researchers can access 45 years of agrochemical formulation work in less than two seconds and get help from over 150 virtual researchers in just a few clicks!

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So, what’s next?

The next step will be to use machine learning to run virtual tests on potential formulations, so that in the lab, researchers can physically run exclusively the experiment that they know will work. “Datagrow is really about challenging the old ways of capturing and valorizing agrochemical data that we often call the ‘goldmine’,” Solvay’s research team explains. “The first step was to digitize that goldmine and create a big database, then give easy access to it via a super intuitive web app.” 

digital-enabled-innovation


Datagrow was recently recognized as one of Solvay’s prime breakthroughs at the Group’s 2022 Innovation awards, where the app took the prize in the “digital-enabled innovation” category. The project was conceived within Solvay’s Connected Research team, which aims to transform the Group’s Research & Innovation activities through digitization. This means developing new capabilities (such as Datagrow) that will speed up chemical research thanks to virtual experiments, delivering innovations faster and more cost-effectively and ultimately accelerating time to market.