Press and News Deep Science Ventures joins forces with CGIAR’s Alliance Bioversity-CIAT to create ventures in Climate and Agritech

Deep Science Ventures joins forces with CGIAR’s Alliance Bioversity-CIAT to create ventures in Climate and Agritech - Alliance Bioversity International - CIAT

The partnership between Deep Science Ventures and Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT (a CGIAR center) will extend the research, supervision and talent attraction capabilities of Deep Science Ventures’ Ph.D. programme (The Venture Science Doctorate).

Key Information:

  • The Venture Science Doctorate (VSD) was launched by Deep Science Ventures (DSV) in 2022. The VSD is the world’s first STEM PhD focused explicitly on venture creation, transforming diverse, high-potentials into high-impact founders.
  • Juan Lucas Restrepo, Director General of CGIAR’s Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT and Global Director of Partnerships and Advocacy at CGIAR celebrates the new partnership, describing the Venture Science Doctorate as a revolutionary initiative. 
  • The first VSD cohort started earlier this year. Second cohort applications are now open. Candidates from all over the world are encouraged to apply. The second application window closes on March 23rd.

Apply now


Deep Science Ventures and CGIAR’s Alliance of Bioversity International & CIAT (The Alliance) announce a strategic partnership to advance their mutual Agriculture, Health, Environmental, and Climate objectives, through the Venture Science Doctorate (VSD). The partnership offers Ph.D. candidates access to cutting-edge entrepreneurship and deep-tech training in the world’s most advanced agricultural research centers in 30 countries.

The VSD is the world’s first “Venture Focused Ph.D. Programme”, designed to create a new type of “venture scientist”. The fully-funded 3-year initiative gives candidates academic and commercial freedom to develop novel core technologies in a customized, multi-institutional Ph.D. programme, with the goal of forming a new high-growth startup targeting critical societal outcomes. The programme recruits candidates from diverse backgrounds and provides training in high-tech entrepreneurship, alongside a living stipend, travel and research costs.

CGIAR’s engagement in the VSD Programme is spearheaded by the CGIAR Accelerate for Impact Platform (A4IP): a venture space leveraging innovative partnership models and CGIAR’s legacy of research and innovation to co-design, accelerate, and de-risk investments in science-based solutions for sustainable agriculture and climate action.

VSD candidates will tackle global food systems challenges such as enhanced nutrition and restoration of ecosystem services in CGIAR’s six major regions across Asia, Africa and Latin America. To train these visionary “Venture Scientists”, DSV is leveraging the capacities of CGIAR’s research centres’ along with that of 30+ university and corporate partners, including The University of Edinburgh, The James Hutton Institute, The Satellite Applications Catapult, The National Physical Laboratory and GlaxoSmithKline.

Juan Lucas Restrepo, Director General of the CGIAR Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT and CGIAR’s Global Director of Partnerships and Advocacy, emphasized the importance of the VSD's decentralised, innovative, and inclusive approach:

“The VSD enables bright scientists and innovators to transform their potential into action, and set up ambitious science ventures that can help us address some of our greatest challenges, including climate change and food insecurity. At CGIAR and the Alliance, we are also looking at new ways of leveraging our legacy of research and innovation internally, to develop and deploy market-based solutions.”

Juan Lucas Restrepo

Director General of the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, Trustee for Bioversity International UK/USA

Dr. Thane Campbell, Dean at Deep Science Ventures, Education explains:

“DSV and CGIAR are reimagining a new pathway for solving our most complex climate and agricultural problems. We believe tomorrow’s graduates will stop hunger. We have designed an environment built for speed and scale where they can deliver synergistic NatureTech Earthshots, sustained by bold employment opportunities for the communities they call home. CGIAR is helping to create that environment, so that thousands of Venture Scientists can develop a Net Zero, Zero Hunger economy in harmony with nature.”

Applications for the VSD’s second cohort are now open. For those interested in scaling the impact of science innovation, find more information and apply here.

About Venture Science Doctorate (VSD):

While PhD programs shape the deeptech workforce that solve humanity’s problems, they fail to attract driven, commercially-minded visionaries or under-represented groups. Reimagining the traditional PhD, the Venture Science Doctorate (VSD) is set to close this gap and redefine the future of scientific entrepreneurship.

VSD is venture & diversity-focused, aiming to develop cohorts that otherwise would not pursue a PhD or research-focused career: 50% ethnic minority groups; 50% women. Candidates from any country can apply, without a STEM undergraduate.

The program has garnered significant recognition and support from the global community, boosting key partnerships with the like’s of King's College London, CGIAR’s Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, National Physical Laboratory, GlaxoSmithKline, FZ Julich and Digital Catapult.

Its innovative approach was published as a proposal by the Federation of American Scientists' Day One initiative. Additionally, VSD has been recognised by Japan’s Ministry of Trade, Economy, and Industry as an international best practice in education innovation, proudly standing alongside eminent names like IBM, Bayer and Mitsubishi Electric in cultivating industry-relevant PhD skills.

The VSD lasts 3-years, is fully-funded and sector-agnostic. The remote PhD is provided by Deep Science Ventures College at Woolf, a Global Higher Education Institution. Within ten years VSD will have scaled to train 1,000 science entrepreneurs per year.

The Venture Science Doctorate was created by Deep Science Ventures (DSV), a London based venture builder that combines available scientific knowledge and founder-type scientists into high-impact ventures. Deep Science Ventures operates in 4 sectors: Agriculture, Climate, Computation and Pharmaceuticals, tackling the challenges defining those areas by taking a first-principles approach and partnering with leading institutions. DSV has launched over 35 deep tech ventures, attracted over £100M in funding and amassed a portfolio value of more than quarter billion pounds.

Media Contact:

Pedro Zuim

[email protected]

Megan Steele, CGIAR Accelerate for Impact Platform

[email protected]

Key link: Venture Science Doctorate Website