CALGARY, ALBERTA, March 22, 2022 – Over the next decade, agriculture and the food system will undergo a massive transformation to produce abundant and affordable food for the growing global population on limited arable land. Innovative and breakthrough technologies are needed, and BASF will support this transition by leveraging the potential of the best digital agriculture ideas from inside and outside the company with its open innovation platform, AgroStart, which will now be established on a global level.
AgroStart pairs ideas with mentorship, market access, exploratory capital and new ways of working. Bringing together trusted capabilities from BASF and entrepreneurs will enable quick, efficient, and cost-effective co-creation of digital agricultural solutions that help farmers worldwide tackle the many challenges.
“With the global launch of our open innovation platform, AgroStart, we combine the world’s most promising ideas – be it from BASF or external partners – with our expertise, direct access to our global customer base and markets, mentoring, as well as capital to cultivate the future of digital agriculture together,” said Vincent Gros, President of BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division.
AgroStart’s North American roll-out will initially focus on identifying solutions that enable farmers to manage and extract value from the large amount of data they create on the farm. To help discover these solutions, BASF is teaming up with SVG|THRIVE, a leading global agrifood investment and innovation platform, headquartered in Silicon Valley, to leverage their network and expertise to identify the best emerging start-ups.
“We are delighted to work with BASF on AgroStart as it expands its footprint into North America,” said John Hartnett, CEO and Founder of SVG|THRIVE. “It’s been great to see the program grow over the years and we are excited to join forces leveraging our ecosystem and innovation platform to advance the future of food and agriculture through innovation.”
First introduced in 2016 in Brazil, and continuously rolled out across Latin America, AgroStart will benefit from the learnings and successes that paved the way for the expansion of the open innovation platform in North America and for future market entries in Europe and Asia Pacific.
In Latin America, international companies and institutions like Bosch, Samsung, Banco do Brasil and Mercedes Benz, and more than 600 start-ups across Latin America, applied to work with AgroStart since its introduction. Over the past few years, multiple technologies have been developed, such as drone-assisted application of crop protection products or weather forecasting. Currently, BASF is partnering with 14 start-ups from the region on digital agricultural solutions.
In North America, BASF will seek similar successes to those realized over the last six years in South America. “With AgroStart, we are committed to collaboration in search of digital solutions that will help our customers better manage the growing complexity of modern agriculture,” said Mika Eberl, AgroStart Lead for BASF Agricultural Solutions, North America. “We will do that by leveraging the talent, creativity, and passion of some of the brightest minds in agriculture and beyond, including our own employees.”
AgroStart will complement further co-creation initiatives and programs from BASF. The Open Innovation Platform (OIP) Agro focuses on collaboration with scientists from universities, research institutes, biotech companies and pharmaceutical companies to develop new crop protection compounds. The AgInnovation & New Business team is interested in working with start-ups and entrepreneurial teams outside the company that have ideas for alternatives to conventional crop protection or for improved crop production. BASF can support them by accelerating their idea, identifying partnership options or facilitating investments. xarvio® Digital Farming Solutions also actively pursues strategic collaboration with industry partners offering different expertise to further seize business opportunities and to develop innovative solutions for farmers.
More information on AgroStart by BASF is available on the global website: https://agrostart.basf.com/.
Companies interested in partnering with BASF and AgroStart should register here: https://basf.startupflow.io/startup-form.
About BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division
BASF Canada Agricultural Solutions, headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, has over 625 employees who work at one of three production facilities across Canada including: Lethbridge, Saskatoon, and Regina, or one of several research farms across the Canadian prairies. Agricultural Solutions is the largest division of BASF Canada Inc., working closely with the regional Agricultural Solutions team, collaborating on research and product development that benefits North American growers. To find out more about BASF Canada Agricultural Solutions, visit www.agsolutions.ca or follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/BASFAgSolutions.
Farming is fundamental to provide enough healthy and affordable food for a rapidly growing population while reducing environmental impacts. Working with partners and agricultural experts and by integrating sustainability criteria into all business decisions, we help farmers to create a positive impact on sustainable agriculture. That’s why we invest in a strong R&D pipeline, connecting innovative thinking with practical action in the field. Our portfolio comprises seeds and specifically selected plant traits, chemical and biological crop protection, solutions for soil management, plant health, pest control and digital farming. With expert teams in the lab, field, office and in production, we strive to find the right balance for success – for farmers, agriculture and future generations. In 2021, our division generated sales of €8.2 billion. For more information, please visit www.agriculture.basf.com or any of our social media channels.
BASF Canada Inc., headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, has over 1,200 employees at production facilities and offices located across Canada. BASF Canada is a subsidiary of BASF SE, and an affiliate of BASF Corporation. To find out more about BASF’s activities in Canada, visit www.basf.com/ca or follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/basfcanada.
BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has more than 16,700 employees in North America and had sales of $25.9 billion in 2021. For more information about BASF’s North American operations, visit www.basf.com/us.
At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Around 111,000 employees in the BASF Group contribute to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio comprises six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of €78.6 billion in 2021. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the U.S. Further information at www.basf.com.