Agtech Action | Week of 10.23.21 - 10.29.21
Agtech Action is a weekly newsletter highlighting current events in the world of agtech, and some light-hearted commentary
Glyphosate prices soar as it disappears from the market, this year’s Thanksgiving will hit the wallet, and N. Korea is promoting the consumption of black swan meat. McD’s unveils its first NFT, supply chain crisis is hitting farmers very hard and scientists tell lawmakers that genetic engineering is the future of agriculture. The Sustainable Agtech Challenge wrapped up with a fantastic finale where we announced the 3 winners and share insights from the to be published white paper policy assessment. And the second episode of Unconventional Growth, a podcast of the Yield Lab Institute, drops.
The theme of the agtech week brings together two key stakeholder communities that are needed to address the challenges in food and agriculture—innovation and policy. Interestingly, this was the aim of the UNEP Sustainable Agtech Challenge. More on that and theme later. Enjoy!
Food and the World:
Agtech in the News:
European Innovation Council Grants Kaffe Bueno €2.5 Mn to Build The World’s 1st Coffee Biorefinery (a Yield Lab Europe portfolio co.)
N2 Applied receives €15M in EU grants (a YLI Manure Challenge and Yield Lab Europe portfolio co.)
Indigo Announces New Investments to Drive Discovery in Soil Carbon Science and Adoption of Agriculture as a Nature-Based Climate Solution (Congratulations to SoilMetrics, a Soy Innovation Challenge winner!)
Sustainable Agtech Challenge Finale: We have our winners!
It's been an amazing journey so far with the UN Environment Programme Sustainable Agtech Challenge.
But here we are with our 3 winners: SAVRpak, ucrop.it and ClearLeaf.
To recap the finale event this week, the opening remarks were made by Piedad Martín, Deputy Regional Director Latin America and Caribbean UN Environment Programme; and the Policy Assessment white paper key outputs were presented by Ana Inés Navarro, Director of the Economics Department at Universidad Austral, Buenos Aires.
Also the Panel discussion “Policy and Innovation: How they drive forward Sustainable Agtech” was integrated by Anna Ricoy, Disaster Risk Management Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean at the FAO; Camila Petignat, Partner at The Yield Lab LATAM and Adriana Zacarias Farah, Head and Global Coordinator #GO4SDGs.
The call for this challenge was aimed at innovations and startups with products, services and/or technologies that are contributing to fight the causes and impacts of climate change, thus creating more regenerative, sustainable and inclusive agrifood systems.
The Sustainable Agtech Challenge is brought to you by UN Environment Programme, The Yield Lab Institute, and #GO4SDGS in partnership with FONTAGRO, IDB Lab, Gerencia Ambiental, AgriGate Global, The Yield Lab LATAM, and Universidad Austral, Buenos Aires and sponsored by Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Read more about the challenge finale here: https://lnkd.in/e8hTvne3 and catch a replay of the finale here.
A special thank you to our partners, sponsors, judges and teams who made the challenge and policy assessment a success! Stay tuned for the white paper policy assessment to be published.
Unconventional Growth Episode 2: A Podcast of the Yield Lab Institute
On Episode Two of the Unconventional Growth Podcast, host Dan Reus discusses the future of space food with Anajan Contractor from BeeHex and Graham Greene from Astraeus. BeeHEx and Astraeus are developing better food options for both astronauts as well as people here on earth that address the needs of proper nutrition as well as texture and flavor and the food experience.
The episode’s conversation today is based on the technologies developed by NASA to help increase the shelf life of food expertly craft it down to the micronutrient level, as well as how this technology designed for astronauts can impact nutrition back on Earth.
Anajan Contractor is the CEO and co-founder of BeeHex 3d printing company that has roots from NASA. Anjan is also one of the creators of NASA's 3D food printer. Graham spent over seven years working in Michelin star restaurants both in the United States and abroad. Now Graham and his team are focused on improving nutrition through developing better technologies that address how we both grow and consume food.
To listen to the interview, head over to the podcast site or search for Unconventional Growth on your favorite podcast app.
Theme of the Agtech Week: Innovation and Policy
The theme of the week brings together two key stakeholder communities that are needed to address the pressing challenges in food and agriculture: innovation and policy. As an organization that plays in a bit of both worlds, the Yield Lab Institute recognizes how a handful of agtech startups can disrupt and change paradigms in food and ag, but that has its limits (e.g. regulations, standards, etc.). Eventually, the public sector needs to get behind, craft and enact legislation that encourages, enhances and fosters innovation forward. And it cannot be a one-size fits all, as each region/country has its own particular challenges and inherent obstacles that can be best addressed by local governments. Interestingly, this was the aim of the UNEP Sustainable Agtech Challenge: to highlight sustainable agtech innovations in the Latin America and Caribbean region, promote and suppor their advancement and highlight the obstacles that these startups and their ecosystems face from a policy perspective and ultimatley make policy recommendations to better support agtech entrepreneurs and ecosystems. These two tactical approaches must be coordinated, aligned and not be siloed or fragmented for agtech to scale and adopt globally. We at the Yield Lab Institute hope to play a key role in that effort.
As always thanks for reading and share our newsletter with your friends!