Accelerate for Impact Platform (A4IP): Venture-focused research and development for Food and Agriculture

The Accelerate for Impact Platform harnesses science and entrepreneurialism to co-design and scale disruptive science-based solutions and innovations to transform food, land and water systems.

The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT is deploying the Accelerate for Impact Platform (A4IP). A4IP will catalyze and drive transformative innovations and technologies that address some of the world’s most pressing challenges at the nexus of agriculture, environment, and nutrition, drawing from existing and future research across CGIAR.

This venture-focused R&D platform is designed to bridge science and entrepreneurship to respond to the need to scale existing research products that are at the pre-commercial stage or in the conceptual form. It is also intended to stimulate and fund the most visionary teams working on cutting-edge areas of research and explore game-changing solutions that will bring the most impact, taking them to market at an unprecedented speed.

The initiative works with venture studios, venture capitalists, impact philanthropists, as well as incubators and accelerators to conceive and build scientific ventures for spin-offs, such as startups, that directly respond to market demand generating both impact and resources to support continued research.

The Accelerate for Impact Platform is structured around three main pillars:

  1. Leverage existing knowledge science-based products and services by supporting their scaling and growth through an Investor Readiness Program organized with domain-focused accelerator venture capital funds. This pillar will also promote an Open Innovation culture by facilitating productive collaborations between scientists and science-driven companies.
  2. Co-design and launch transformative innovations through a venture-building program that will combine scientific creativity, technological ingenuity, and entrepreneurship, creating transformative solutions that target areas of research that could be cornerstones of future innovation and tomorrow's industry.
  3. Nurture and institutionalize an entrepreneurial mindset and market-oriented culture by creating a space for tech transfer activities including intellectual property management, business planning, and market research, as well as offering training and mentoring opportunities, digital hangouts to meet and exchange ideas with other innovators, and practical guidance.

Through these efforts, the ambition is to cross-pollinate knowledge to push scientific creativity forwards with the support of experimental and innovative funding models that support this kind of pioneering research and entrepreneurialism. The Platform will also mean that knowledge products and codesign elements, which are integral to the delivery mechanism of CGIAR’s 2030 Research and Innovation Strategy, reach their full potential and impact.

Milestones

  • Agrobiodiversity Innovation Challenge (November 15, 2021)
    In the context of the 2nd International Agrobiodiversity Congress, we have created an opportunity to publicly recognize exciting innovations that could help farmers increase food production in resilient and sustainable farming systems that conserve and use agrobiodiversity and be more competitive in the marketplace.
  • Innovation Forum (November 15, 2021)
    In “The Role of Venture Capital in Agricultural and Food Systems: creating opportunities and scaling up science based led innovations”, participants will learn how leading global food companies, startups, and venture funds are transforming the way capital is raised and deployed in R&D.

Next steps

  • Co-design activity to identify the most promising science-based solutions in the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT to access the investment readiness program.
  • Design phase to identify specific market problems or neglected areas of opportunities, leverage ideas and talents for and from the least developed countries, create new joint investor-scientist teams to co-design high-impact breakthroughs and enterprises. 

Partners

The Accelerate for Impact Platform is a Global Partnerships Unit Initiative to respond to the scaling needs of the organization and to create value and impact through innovation.

Funding Partner: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Implementing Partners: Rockstart, Deep Science Ventures

Contact person

Gianpiero Menza, Private Sector & Sustainable Finance Officer: g.menza@cgiar.org