BASF Launches Open Innovation Platform AgroStart To Inspire New Digital Solutions For Agriculture

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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 these 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 will help farmers worldwide tackle the many challenges they’re facing.

“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.”

“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.”

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, BASF’s AgroStart has partnerships with 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 has partnered with 14 start-ups from the region on digital agricultural solutions.

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.