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AgTech FoodTech

ESG set aside over S$55 million to develop a vibrant agri-food tech ecosystem

Enterprise Singapore (ESG) has set aside over S$55 million to accelerate the growth of promising local agriculture and aquaculture companies. ESG’s ongoing efforts will catalyse innovation and scalable solutions to meet evolving needs. ESG has put in place various initiatives to support the growth of the agri-food tech startup ecosystem and drive deep tech commercialisation.

Modern technology in agriculture and aquaculture has enabled the development of climate-resilient, resource-efficient and high-yield farming solutions, offering opportunities for food producers to ‘grow more with less’ in densely built-up environments. ESG has been supporting local food producers in their development and adoption of these technologies.

“There is an urgency for our agriculture and aquaculture companies to leverage agri-food technologies to address the growing demand locally, as well as globally. We will also continue to support agri-food tech startups and the use of disruptive innovation to future-proof food production in Asia. This will not only contribute towards national food resilience, but further strengthen their global competitiveness.” 

Mr Ted Tan, Deputy CEO, Enterprise Singapore

ESG has anchored six global agri-food tech and life sciences accelerators in the past year under the Startup SG Accelerator programme – Big Idea Ventures, GROW, Hatch Blue, The Yield Lab, Trendlines Agrifood Innovation Centre and Temasek Life Sciences Accelerator – to nurture and mentor agri-food tech startups in fundraising, product development, commercialisation and internationalisation. These six accelerators are expected to groom over 150 agri-food tech startups over the next three years.

ESG is working with innovative aquaculture and agriculture companies, like:

  1. Singapore Aquaculture Technologies (SAT) is a sustainable aquaculture nutrition & healthcare company based in Singapore. It complement natural processes from the ocean, sun, micro-algae and aquaculture, with technology to create scalable solutions. It currently runs a smart floating fish farm incorporating Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence to control processes and optimise resource inputs, such as feed, energy and oxygen. 
  2. Sustenir Agriculture produces seasonal crops all year round through Controlled Environment Agriculture. A passion for nutrition and the environment runs through the Sustenir team. The company uses 95% less water than traditional farming and by growing locally, it reduces carbon emissions for a happier healthier earth.

Beyond growing enterprises, ESG will continue their efforts to build trust in Singapore products and services through quality and standards, as well as establish Singapore as a leading startup and trading hub.

Read more at SG Press Centre

Categories
AgTech Climate Change

Combating climate change with AgTech and FoodTech

SHAKE Climate Change is a consortium-based programme led by Rothamsted Research. SHAKE helps entrepreneurs and start-ups who are combating climate change with science or tech-based ideas in the areas of agriculture and food production

The £3.5m SHAKE Climate Change Programme has announced its first three ventures to invest in. Energy from manure, a yield boosting nanotech and tools for smarter pest management are the ideas behind three early stage companies selected by the unique fund.

“There has been a lot of publicity recently around the environmental impact especially of eating meat and intensive agricultural crop production – but the contribution of agri-food to our climate footprint is so much more complex and wider than that. It has been really exciting to see that this entrepreneurship support programme has attracted ventures with innovations offering solutions across that wide spectrum.”

Prof. Angela Karp, Interim Director and CEO, Rothamsted Research, World’s Oldest Agricultural Research Institute

They were up against tough competition, but all three of them have displayed great ingenuity in their initial ideas to help reduce the climate impact of food and farming, and they have taken really well to the training and mentorship we have provided so far. The three successful companies, who each receive £140k plus two years of dedicated mentoring and support, are:

  1. EcoNomad Solutions: Offer small-scale solutions for agricultural waste reduction and sustainable resource management. Their biogas and nutrient recovery system is suitable for even the smallest of operations. Other ground-breaking and patented technology by EcoNomad for low-cost solar water pumping and pasteurisation is based solely on passive thermal principles, operating without electricity, solar panels or moving parts of any kind.
  2. Glaia Ltd: Glaia has developed a new class of plant additive called ‘sugar dots’ that can increase photosynthetic efficiency naturally, increasing yields by up to 20 per cent. Sugar-dots are water soluble and can be applied as a foliar spray or within an irrigation system and have been tested on a variety of crops from soft fruit through to wheat and sorghum.
  3. PheroSyn Ltd: Develop pheromones that can be deployed to protect crops and reduce the use of pesticides. Their first products are designed to lure midges that attack wheat, peas and pears away from these crops.

Over the nine-year programme, 15 successful ventures will receive up to a total amount of £140,000 each, plus two years of high-quality training and mentoring from leading experts in business and science, to help further develop their ventures. The programme is funded by the Societe Generale UK Foundation, the independent corporate foundation of Societe Generale Group in the UK.

Read more at Rothamsted Research

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Investments

Agtech startup that crafts “personalized seeds” for farmers, raised $45 million

Inari Agriculture, a Cambridge-based agtech startup that crafts “personalized seeds” for farmers, raised $45 million in a loan and security agreement with K2 HealthVentures (K2HV), a life sciences-focused investment firm.This round complements the $89 million the company raised in equity last August. It will be used to accelerate the development and commercialization of gene-edited crops that address the challenges of climate change and improve productivity.

Inari Agriculture unites biological and data sciences to provide scientists and farmers with new crops better suited for local environments. Its first generation of proprietary improved corn and soybeans is currently being tested in greenhouses.

Read more at BostInno

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Uncategorized

How ‘future-fit’ crops can protect the environment and provide for the future

“Future-fit” crops that are nutritionally dense, climate resilient, economically viable and locally available or adaptable are key to surviving climate change and providing for the world’s larger population in the future. The current food system, with its reliance on a handful of crops, is inadequate and unsustainable in the face of climate change and population growth. The United Nations warned that the current global food system is inadequate and unsustainable. It noted that just a handful of crops, including wheat, rice and maize, now make up 60 per cent of people’s caloric intake.

Climate change is the biggest existential threat to humanity and the planet. Without transforming our agriculture, we cannot reverse climate change or meet the Sustainable Development Goals. The Bambara groundnut, lupin and moringa, for example, are able to grow and produce highly nutritious food in relatively harsh conditions, making them ideal for a future where droughts and floods will be more common.

Read more at Eco-Business