On 9 September at 15:00 CEST, attend the Venture-Out Event: Bridging Science and Entrepreneurship in Cell Engineering and Biosecurity with Ginkgo Bioworks to learn from and connect with Ginkgo, expert moderator Dr. Arshnee Moodley (ILRI/CGIAR), CGIAR scientists, and other innovators on topics of scaling innovation and to explore synergies for collaboration.
The need for agri-food technologies to provide solutions for food systems transformation is as dire as ever, as pandemic, political instability, and climate crises continue to threaten food security, damaging lives and livelihoods globally. The markets already reflect this need for solutions: according to AgFunder, investment into agri-food technologies in 2021 amounted to a record 51.7 billion USD.
The Accelerate for Impact Platform, the CGIAR venture space, is taking action to spur those solutions by bringing scientists and the buzzing innovation system closer together to inspire and collaborate through Venture-Out Events - interactive webinars organized to learn from the latest cutting-edge technologies by inviting key players from successful companies in the Agri-Tech space to share their scaling journey with CGIAR scientists and other innovators: how they successfully scaled from being a research idea in the lab to becoming a multimillion-dollar venture.
On 7 July 2022, A4IP hosted Dr. Barry Goldman, founder and Chief Science Officer of Pluton Biosciences – a startup (6.6M seed round) that quickly and inexpensively taps into the diverse world of bacteria, fungi and viruses to discover next-generation solutions for agriculture and climate action to present on the journey scaling innovative microbial products for soil carbon sequestration and engage in discussion about synergetic development opportunities together with the audience and ICARDA/CGIAR senior climatologist Dr. Ajit Govind.
“At CGIAR, we are striving to connect the dots and find synergies to get the fullest out of our complex environment. We are investigating the possibilities that can emerge from connecting the brightest scientists within and beyond the organization working on research with venture potential to each other and to the external innovation ecosystem,” Gianpiero Menza, Senior Partnerships & Innovative Finance Officer at the Alliance/CGIAR said.
The A4IP is keeping up this momentum with the next iteration of Venture-Out Events, on 9 September with biotech unicorn Ginkgo Bioworks. Founded by MIT scientists, Ginkgo Bioworks is ‘the organism company’ whose platform of foundries and codebase enables customers to program cells as one programs computers: the platform yields biotechnology application across diverse markets, from food and agriculture to industrial chemicals to pharmaceuticals. In 2021, Ginkgo went public in a deal worth $17.5 billion, “including a $15 billion valuation for Ginkgo and $2.5 billion in deal proceeds, would make it one of the largest SPAC mergers to date.”
Ginkgo is still going strong in 2022, with a 282% total revenue increase in Q1 2022 compared to 2021 and announcements of several major acquisitions and partnerships, notably signing with Bayer to acquire the 175,000-square-foot Biologics R&D center, including team and internal discovery and lead optimization platform, and enter into a three-year strategic partnership with Bayer to advance several agricultural biological programs.
As Ginkgo’s example inspires many innovators that they, too, may reach a maturity where they will both deliver capital back to investors and drive tangible impact, many of them remain stuck at the earliest stages in the lab, lacking access to the support that could make the difference in helping them, too, fulfil a promise of revenue and impact.
How can we help entrepreneurial scientists and early-stage startups bridge the scaling gap? What can we learn from successful examples, like Ginkgo Bioworks, about scaling science-driven technologies? Tune in to the Venture-Out Event on September 9th at 15:00 CEST to explore these questions and how they relate to innovation in cellular engineering and agricultural biosecurity with a lineup of speakers from Ginkgo and expert moderator Dr. Arshnee Moodley, team leader of CGIAR’s Antimicrobial Resistance Hub.
“As a company seeking to make biology easier to engineer, Ginkgo Bioworks understands that to build and strengthen ventures across the bioeconomy, bringing science, technology, and entrepreneurship closer together will be crucial. Together with CGIAR and the grander innovation ecosystem, events like this can build bridges to connect and inspire innovators to develop and scale cutting-edge, impactful solutions,” said Renee Wegrzyn, Ginkgo Bioworks’ Vice President, Business Development.
Join Venture-Out Events: Bridging Science and Entrepreneurship in Cell Engineering and Biosecurity with Ginkgo Bioworks on Friday September 9th at 15:00 CEST to hear from Ginkgo scientists and their journey to scale and the potential for synergies and collaboration in a discussion with CGIAR’s Dr. Arshnee Moodley and an audience spanning the innovation ecosystem.
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Learn More: Venture-Out is organized by the Accelerate for Impact Platform (A4IP), CGIAR’s venture-focused Research for Development space to co-design and scale science-driven breakthrough solutions for sustainable agriculture and climate action while making sure that innovations are accessible to all.