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Article Dans Une Revue Environmental Science and Policy Année : 2023

The exploratory assetization of a crop protection app

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Résumé

This study examines how an agtech startup managed to turn a mobile app designed to diagnose plant damages and recommend treatments into an asset. Rooted in assetization research and the sociology of markets, the paper theorizes agtech startups as organizations that increasingly engage in the construction of markets for pesticides and other inputs. Empirically, the study reconstructs the assetization of the app over a period of eight years, showing how the process gradually and quite radically transformed both the app itself and its socio-technical collective. More specifically, the study describes four phases constituting the analyzed segment of the assetization process in question, over the course of which the app evolved from a technology for disseminating knowledge about alternatives to chemical pesticides into a platform for brokering sales of biological and chemical pesticides on behalf of large agrochemical corporations. To make sense of this radical repositioning of the app vis-`a-vis chemical pesticides, the article introduces the concept of exploratory assetization—a concept that draws attention to the fact that the socio-technical collectives through which startup-born innovations are turned into assets are not fixed from the outset but emerge only over time through constant confrontations between a given innovation and the various human and non-human actors with which the assetization process puts it in touch. The article concludes that the exploratory assetization process described in it calls into question the ability of venture capital-funded digital agriculture technologies to contribute to pesticide reduction in a long lasting way
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Dates et versions

hal-03921807 , version 1 (04-01-2023)

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Cornelius Heimstädt. The exploratory assetization of a crop protection app. Environmental Science and Policy, 2023, 140, pp.242-249. ⟨10.1016/j.envsci.2022.12.014⟩. ⟨hal-03921807⟩
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