Highlights from our recent reflection on the CGIAR Accelerate for Impact Platform’s partnership with the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit in London.
September 26 and 27, London - A delegation from Alliance/CGIAR gathered with nearly 1000 leaders from across the agri-tech innovation ecosystem for the CGIAR Accelerate for Impact Platform’s partnership with the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit. With an immersive exhibition booth and interventions in scheduled panel discussions, the delegation spotlighted CGIAR’s expansive portfolio of cutting-edge research and innovation; exposed CGIAR scientists to diverse sector leaders; and advocated for strengthened networks and cooperation between partners, scientists, the Global South; and more.
The exhibition booth was pivotal to the delegation’s engagement with the global innovation ecosystem at this energetic event. Through meetings here, the team highlighted the Alliance/CGIAR’s advancements in agri-tech directly with key stakeholders, and fostered connections for future opportunities for ground-breaking collaborations. The booth featured an interactive ‘virtual exhibit’ with materials submitted by Alliance/CGIAR innovators. Immerse yourself below!
The first of the delegation’s two panel interventions saw Juan Lucas Restrepo [Director General of the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, and CGIAR’s Global Director of Partnerships & Advocacy] join colleagues from the World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Apollo Agriculture to explore ‘Targeting Digital Solutions to Smallholder Farms’. On the main stage, the panel offered an overall optimistic outlook on the potential for digital technologies to benefit smallholder farmers in the Global South, while stressing the importance of connecting research institutions and their resources with entrepreneurship and local institutions. The second panel discussion, curated as a breakout session by the A4IP, focused on ‘Proactive Innovation: Scientific Entrepreneurship to Bridge Solutions from Lab to Market’. Panelists highlighted the need for a combination of funding mechanisms, mentorship, and public-private collaborations to unlock scientific and entrepreneurial solutions to pressing agrifood and climate challenges. In doing so, emphasis was placed on the need for (1) capital to de-risk innovation; (2) capacity and network building for founders at early stages; and (3) programs that offer a blend of such.
Image 1: CGIAR|A4IP’s Delegation in the World Agri-Tech exhibition hall, from L to R: Christian Bunn, David Guerena, Megan Steele, Juan Lucas Restrepo, Gianpiero Menza
Image 2: Panelists came together from their unique points of view in the innovation ecosystem, from L to R: David Guerena, Scientist, Digital Inclusion, ALLIANCE/CGIAR; Kinneret Shefer, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, GENENEER; Loet Rummenie, Program Director, STARTLIFE; Thane Campbell, Dean, Venture Science Doctorate, DEEP SCIENCE VENTURES; and the moderator of the session Megan Steele, Innovation Ecosystem Engagement; Accelerate for Impact Platform, ALLIANCE/CGIAR
Image 3: Director General Juan Lucas Restrepo speaking during the main stage panel discussion
Through this partnership, A4IP raised the visibility for its groundbreaking science amongst a new audience of potential partners. Additionaly, by amplifying their perspectives and expertise, Alliance/CGIAR scientists will not only take part in this innovation ecosystem – but lead. Check out our full reflection on the Summit here.
The Accelerate for Impact Platform (A4IP) is the venture space that leverages CGIAR’s legacy in research and innovation to co-design, accelerate, and de-risk investments in technologies for sustainable agriculture and climate action. A4IP explores innovative partnership models to bridge research products from lab to market, create demand for CGIAR science, and strengthen its role in the innovation ecosystem. The initiative plays a catalytic role for entrepreneurial scientists, startups, and other strategic partners driving innovation that will make our agri-food systems healthier, more equitable, and more sustainable. A4IP is an initiative powered by the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT; a CGIAR research center.