Against the backdrop of soaring input costs due to supply chain issues aggravated by ongoing conflicts and climate change, research out of 2022 reflects growing demand for agri-tech and climate-tech innovations. Even in a tough year, the agri-tech and climate-tech sector is performing respectively better than industries in the aggregate (from Q2 to Q3, compare a 33% reduction in overall funding to ag-tech’s 5%). Emerging markets are defying the decline: agri-food-tech investment in Asia-Pacific (excluding China) and Africa are projecting year-over-year growth for 2022. Startups in Africa crossed the one-billion-dollar mark in terms of funding raised earlier than ever before.
The current political environment is also promoting greater attention to innovation. Factors not limited to a geopolitical race to innovate more and global stages like the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) and the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) spotlighting solutions for agriculture to counter climate change are demonstrating progress in support for agri-tech and innovation as a whole. Innovation ecosystem actors are exploring how the gap between academia and industry, fueled by underfinancing and different incentives, can be bridged through more collaboration. Amidst these developments of the year 2022, CGIAR and the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT are affirming the role of scientific ingenuity in the innovation ecosystem. The Accelerate for Impact Platform (A4IP) is the venture space building on CGIAR’s legacy of research and innovation to co-design, accelerate and fund market-driven and multidisciplinary innovations at the nexus of agriculture, environment, and health. A4IP works across three pillars: to valorize dormant know-how by incubating and accelerating existing science-based innovations, co-design and launch novel transformative innovations, and nurture and institutionalize an entrepreneurial mindset and market-oriented culture.