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Money, time is the best help for ag innovation




Many American states and colleges of agriculture have agtech accelerators.

Accelerators, by definition, are organizations that help start-ups and entrepreneurs bring technology to market.

It usually features a mentorship program in which experienced business leaders assist young entrepreneurs. Some accelerators fund startups.

Steve Webb, who has worked for Dow AgroScience and Corteva for over 20 years, is skeptical of accelerators, especially when it comes to agriculture.

I don’t think the accelerator works for ag. Webb, CEO of the Global Institutes for Food Security (GIFS) in Saskatoon, has put an end to it.

Most people who use the word accelerator don’t know what they are doing.

Webb knows something about ag innovation.

While working at the Dows headquarters in Indianapolis, he was responsible for external technology, intellectual property development, and early commercial valuation.

Accelerators may work in digital technology, but ag is different, Webb said.

Innovators with agricultural skills need more than mentorship. They need money and time to prove that their technology works.

Agtech. You are watching a two year field survey. According to Webb, they need access to very expensive infrastructure and equipment. (Investor) I would like to see the actual performance of the crop of interest for the pest of interest.

GIFS aims to play an important role in the path to commercialization of ag technology.

In January, GIFS and the University of Saskatchewan launched the Omics and Precision Agriculture Laboratory (OPAL), a state-of-the-art facility aimed at accelerating innovation in agriculture and agricultural foods.

With the release of GIFS, it is the only place in the country to provide analytical and computational services such as genomics (study of genetic material), phenomics (study of biological traits), and bioinformatics (analysis of biological data). ).

AgWestBio, whose mission is to bring GIFS and research to market, is also working on a concept called the Agri-Food Advancement Centre.

Unlike (high tech) incubators and accelerators. The company has been there for much longer, according to Webb. (Accelerator) is primarily focused on investment networking. At ag tech, we need to focus on mitigating technology risk.

Webb is discussing the concept of Advancement Center with other organizations. So far, the reaction has been positive.

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