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ICL, one of the leaders in global specialty minerals, recently announced its partnership with startup accelerator StartLife in its quest to invest in startups focused on new ways to address global challenges in food and agricultural production
The challenges to address range from increasing yields and tackling food insecurity, to cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Both organisations said that they are fully geared toward accelerating the business development and growth of early-stage startups, and this partnership enables them to advance in their shared mission.
Headquartered in Israel, ICL Planet Startup Hub serves as the vehicle ICL uses to cultivate, nurture and accelerate innovation in the ‘AgriFood’ tech ecosystem, through open innovation and collaboration on a global basis. Potential targets also include novel ways to recycle minerals, extract them from waste streams and convert them to fertilisers or develop innovative functional proteins for clean label applications, among others.
“ICL Planet Startup Hub seeks to establish a new generation of plant nutrition solutions, and our aim is to invest in startups, which can make a meaningful difference,” said Hadar Sutovsky, vice-president of external innovation at ICL Group.
“StartLife has a strong track record of spotting and attracting promising early-stage startups globally, and its position at the heart of the European AgriFood tech ecosystem, its focus on sustainable food systems, and its strong links with the world-renowned Wageningen University and Research were central to our decision to enter into a partnership,” continued Sutovsky.
StartLife’s operations director, Laura Thissen, said, “Through this partnership, StartLife aims to accelerate startups’ scaling journey and, at the same time, support ICL in finding the best startups, which match their innovation challenges. Our team is already identifying startups looking to partner and help solve a piece of the innovation puzzle for Planet Startup. The scope includes crop nutrition, such as next-generation fertilisers and biostimulants, but also precision farming and alternative proteins.”
Thissen added, “To boost innovation, StartLife actively connects startups to leading players in the industry. ICL’s core domain is complementary to our partner community value chain coverage. In our talks, we quickly discovered we have a lot of synergies in our activities and the same drive for sustainability in food and agriculture.”