Insights from CGIAR A4IP’s Delegation to the World Agri-Tech and Future Food-Tech Innovation Summits

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Food and agriculture sectors are increasingly transformed by new technological and knowledge-based solutions brought by innovative startups as a response to the complex and interlinked challenges faced by the global food systems. Indeed, even as humanity struggles to respond to shocks like COVID-19 pandemic aggravated by ongoing conflicts and rampant inflation, changing climate, potentially catastrophic biodiversity loss, and degradation of land and water systems are disrupting value chains worldwide. Agri- and food-tech innovations – such as novel technologies that harness the power of genetics, bio-technologies, sensors, automation and robotics, or big data – just to name a few – are providing applicable solutions for value chain actors including farmers and their communities to optimize productivity, nutrition, and minimize waste while addressing such challenges.

CGIAR is working at the cutting edge to develop such agri- and food-tech innovations. We are an agricultural science and innovation for development organization dedicated to developing research-driven innovations, management practices and policy options to transform food, land, and water systems in a climate crisis through the work of 8000+ scientists and 3000+ partners in over 100 countries.

This March, 2500+ leading investors, startups, accelerators and industry experts gathered in San Francisco and online for the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit and Future Food-Tech Innovation & Investment from Farm to Fork. Among them was CGIAR’s Accelerate for Impact Platform (A4IP) : the venture space that builds on CGIAR’s legacy in Research and Innovation to co-design, accelerate and fund science-driven technologies to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges. By participating in the Innovation Summits in San Francisco, the A4IP brought CGIAR science to a buzzing market of strategic partners in a big way – and at the next round of Summits in London this September, A4IP will even bring them to the main stage and exhibition hall.

This much is clear: CGIAR’s role in the innovation ecosystem can be a paradigm shift. The agri- and food-tech ecosystem at large should devote higher priority to the global south, farmers, science, and innovations at the early stage. Following the Summits, we see that CGIAR’s involvement is an important step in creating a platform to do so. Why:

More investment into innovation in emerging markets opens an untapped opportunity to accelerate sustainable economic development.

The involvement of growers bundled with local knowledge can lead to better-informed development of solutions and likelier adoptions.

Stronger networks between scientists and partners will help ensure innovations are grounded in science and research advances are scaled past the laboratory.

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