CGIAR Accelerate for Impact Platform and LVenture Group Forge a Strategic Partnership to Support the Next Generation of Agri-Food- and Climate-Tech Startups

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Rome, 31 October 2023 – CGIAR Accelerate for Impact Platform (A4IP) – an initiative powered by the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT of CGIAR – and LVenture Group announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to co-design and execute initiatives aimed at scouting, accelerating, and funding early-stage agri-food and climate-tech innovations.

The global agricultural sector and food systems face numerous challenges due to the rapidly changing landscape, including an increasing global population, climate change, and the irresponsible use of natural resources. Embracing innovation in our agri-food sector is key to a sustainable, healthy, and prosperous future. From precision farming to disease and drought-resistant plants, to food-tech and nutraceuticals, there are multiple solutions that can lead the way in shaping a new phase of agriculture and help the world sustainably produce more nutritious food with less energy, water, plastic, and waste. The interest in the agri- tech space has been rapidly growing. In 2022 alone, global investments in food-tech and agri-tech startups reached $29.6 billion, marking a 44% decrease from the previous year.1 While the drop in investment was also due to lower-value deals, the total number of deals confirms the growing interest in ag biotech, bioenergy, biomaterials, farm management software, IoT solutions, and novel farming systems.

That said, targeted investment is not the be-all and end-all. To effectively harness the full transformative potential that agri-tech solutions and investments can offer, strong partnerships are of critical importance. By coordinating and combining the expertise and resources of the players within this sector, there is potential to be much more than the sum of our respective parts.


Today, CGIAR Accelerate for Impact Platform and LVenture Group announce that have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the objective of accelerating and investing in new entrepreneurial initiatives by establishing an exchange network that connects scientists and industry experts, fosters knowledge sharing, and works towards creating a supportive ecosystem for agri-food and climate- tech innovations. This is a prime example of how partners can combine unique strengths to foster food security and drive food systems transformation through science-based innovations.

This agreement also responds to the increasing interest in the agri-food and climate tech space, for instance in Italy through Fondazione Agritech2 and in the United Kingdom, where the Innovate UK Agency3 is integrating multiple national agri-tech centers to promote a stronger cross-sectoral approach. These initiatives set out to drive better outcomes for the agri-tech sector across innovation, commercialization, adoption, and research.

CGIAR A4IP leverages CGIAR’s extensive experience in agricultural research and its institutional capacity to address development issues. LVenture Group is one of the most active pre-seed investors and startup accelerators in Southern Europe and a key player in the national innovation ecosystem.

By combining their shared resources, expertise, and networks, CGIAR A4IP and LVenture Group will work to create an enabling ecosystem where startups can thrive, refine their ideas, and develop actionable pathways to scale. This collaboration will act as a catalyst for innovative solutions to the most pressing challenges in agriculture and food security.

“We are thrilled about the opportunities this collaboration presents. Together, we aim to act as ecosystem enablers, empowering startups to reach new heights and make a lasting impact on the agri-food and climate- tech landscape. Partnering with LVenture Group and tapping into its network in the Italian innovation ecosystem provides complementary expertise, networks, and resources, driving us towards a more sustainable and resilient future for agriculture”, says Gianpiero Menza, Senior Manager, Partnerships and Innovative Finance at the Alliance/CGIAR.

“We are delighted to announce our partnership with CGIAR, as we share a common goal of addressing some of the most pressing challenges for the future, such as the climate crisis and food sustainability. By leveraging our expertise and networks, we aim to create an ideal platform for launching promising startups, accelerating their growth and development, and fostering digital culture and confidence in the power of technology”, says Antonella Zullo, Head of Innovation and Corporate Venturing at LVenture Group.

Learn more about one of the first achievements of this collaboration; the high-level dialogue, “Developing and Deploying Agri-Food and Climate Tech Innovations: The Role of Technology Transfer”, dedicated to mechanisms as means of creating thriving entrepreneurial ecosystems, empowering young talent, attracting investments, enhancing business competitiveness, and driving development.

Read the blog or watch the event recording.

About CGIAR / Alliance of Bioversity International & CIAT

The Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) delivers research-based solutions that harness agricultural biodiversity and sustainably transform food systems to improve people’s lives. Alliance solutions address the global crises of malnutrition, climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental degradation.
The Alliance is part of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future. CGIAR works for a world with sustainable and resilient food, land, and water systems that deliver diverse, healthy, safe, sufficient, and affordable diets, and ensure improved livelihoods and greater social equality, within planetary and regional environmental boundaries. Our mission is to deliver science and innovation that advance the transformation of food, land, and water systems in a climate crisis.

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About the Accelerate for Impact Platform

The Accelerate for Impact Platform (A4IP) is the venture space that leverages CGIAR’s legacy in research and innovation to co-design, accelerate, and de-risk investments in technologies for sustainable agriculture and climate action. A4IP explores innovative partnership models to bridge research products from lab to market, create demand for CGIAR science, and strengthen its role in the innovation ecosystem. The initiative strives to play a catalytic role for entrepreneurial scientists, startups, and other strategic partners driving innovation that will make our agri-food systems healthier, more equitable, and more sustainable. A4IP is an initiative powered by the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT; a CGIAR research center.

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About LVenture Group

LVenture Group is a Venture Capital company listed on the Italian Stock Exchange that invests in digital startups and accelerates their growth, generating profits from exit transactions, mainly M&A. LVenture Group is one of the most active pre-seed operators in Southern Europe thanks to its acceleration programme LUISS EnLabs, dedicated to digital startups and created in joint venture with Luiss University. LVenture Group invests in the cleantech and traveltech sectors through its vertical accelerators Zero and Argo. The company conducts Open Innovation activities with leading Italian and international industrial players including Eni, CDP Venture Capital, Leonardo, Intesa Sanpaolo and Meta. To accelerate the development of startups LVenture Group has created a 9,000-square-metre hub inside Termini Station in Rome. From 2013 to date, it has invested in more than 130 startups that have raised a total of more than 180 million euros, 25 million euros of which were invested directly by the company. LVenture Group has contributed to the creation of more than 1,800 high-value-added jobs.

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Read the press release in Italian, here


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