Global Innovators in St. Louis Pitching the Future of High-Tech Farms

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ReACH Innovation Summit on Regenerative Ag Co-Organized by BioSTL and Bayer kicks off effort to develop local ‘testbed hub’ in new technology for tomorrow’s ag

St. Louis, Missouri, USA, Feb. 06, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — St. Louis, Mo. (Feb. 7, 2024) – Some of the most out-of-the-box thinkers in agriculture are converging in St. Louis to pitch their visions for tomorrow’s farming at the inaugural ReACH Innovation Summit, organized by BioSTL and Bayer. 

Behind the event is the new Regenerative Agrifood Coalition in the Heartland (ReACH), comprised of innovative food and agriculture companies, and growers, actively collaborating in regenerative ag technologies to address shrinking supplies of arable land, water, and energy. These members are AB Inbev, ADM, Bayer, Bunge, Burger King, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Growmark, ICL, Illinois Farm Bureau, Missouri Farm Bureau, National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), Nestle Purina, and Post, and United Soybean Board (USB).

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“For this planet to thrive in the decades ahead will require tremendous innovation,” said Donn Rubin, CEO and Founder of BioSTL, the nonprofit building bioscience innovation in St. Louis. “We’re confident that transformational innovation will come from bright minds and collaborations among scientists, businesspeople, entrepreneurs and farmers —and St. Louis has the opportunity to be at the heart of it.”

Already a hub for leading, global agricultural companies, St. Louis is also located within a day’s drive of 80 percent of America’s corn and soybean crops, which dominate U.S. agricultural exports. The area also hosts the headquarters of national organizations for the farmers who raise those crops, including NCGA, and USB.

At the inaugural Summit, 13 exciting startups — from North, South, and Central America, the United Kingdom, and the Middle East — will pitch their innovations to ReACH members, responding to specific, real-time challenges the companies are seeking to address. Like in the ABC-TV reality program ‘Shark Tank,’ the best innovations will get feedback, support and maybe even investment from the ReACH companies present.

“Ag and food companies are looking for more ways to leverage Artificial Intelligence and other breakthroughs to help farmers keep their soils healthy and reduce their use of water, energy and chemical inputs,” said Phil Taylor, Director of Open Innovation at Bayer. “This coalition plans to grow not only the future of regenerative agriculture, and the food we eat, but the future of our region.”

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Innovators Pitching at the Summit:

Agreena scales the transition to sustainable agriculture at farm-level through a technology-enabled platform that generates and monetizes verified climate outcomes and connects growers with the agricultural value chain to bridge the financial gap that growers experience in the transition to sustainable agriculture. (Denmark)

Andes generates carbon credits by partnering with farmers who apply microorganisms on agricultural fields which convert CO2 into stable minerals. The result is high permanence, low-cost, verifiable carbon credits used for insetting or offsetting purposes.(Chile)

ChrysaLabs is located at the intersection of ag, sustainability, and innovation. The ChrysaLabs Probe uses three onboard sensor technologies, Cloud computing and AI to extract real-time data from its patented spectroscopy technology. This provides soil insights within seconds, allowing faster carbon project liftoff and field managers to take the best actions minutes after sampling, making the right calls on the spot. (Canada)

CIBO Technologies is a scaled SaaS platform that powers the transition to sustainable and regenerative agriculture. CIBO achieves the goals of their partners through their scaled software platform to deploy, manage, and report on sustainability programs that pay farmers to adopt new or continue existing regenerative practices. Their platform combines advanced, science-based ecosystem modeling, AI-based computer vision, MMRV capabilities, and the most complete programs engine on the market. (United States)

DeepAgro is a scientific company based on artificial intelligence applied to agriculture. Their first product is a weed recognition device for selective herbicide application which allows up to 70% reduction of the agrochemicals and water used by the farmer. It also provides an exact map of how much and where the chemical has been applied in order to have an application quality certification. (Argentina)

EarthOptics is a growth stage data & technology company that makes soil mapping significantly faster, cheaper, and more accurate than existing soil measurement methods. EarthOptics’ technology platform combines proprietary soil & sensor data, machine learning, and data partnerships to produce mapping solutions that enable farmers, ranchers, and land managers to make more profitable and sustainable soil management decisions. (United States)

EIWA Vault is the cloud platform built to make Ag companies AI and ML ready. They have built the first and most advanced farming ecosystem data cloud that is mobilizing agricultural knowledge across multiple players of the value chain, from R&D programs all the way to commercial and MRV programs. (Argentina)

Groundwork BioAg: Mycorrhizal fungi, carbon’s main pathway into the soil, are key to permanent carbon sequestration. They cost-effectively produce high-volume, supremely concentrated mycorrhizal products, but their impact goes beyond climate change. Their products help farmers boost crop yields, improve soil fertility, mitigate plant stress, and reduce fertilizer usage – all without altering farming practices. Their premium carbon program, Rootella Carbon, ensures verifiable, sustainable, and enduring carbon removal. (Israel)

HabiTerre has developed a truly novel system-of-systems approach to agroecological modeling to address the challenge of quantifying environmental outcomes in agriculture accurately from the field level to global scale. With scientific rigor that is second to none, they can support Measurement, Monitoring, Verification, and Reporting needs from field-level, verified intervention claims to largescale supply shed accounting for resource planning and GHG inventory accounting. (United States)

LeafSpec, a 2021 Davidson Prize winner, is an accurate, affordable, and portable hyperspectral crop leaf imager. It takes only 10 seconds for LeafSpec to scan a leaf non-destructively. It can measure the plant’s physiological features such as leaf moisture content, chlorophyll content, nitrogen content, pathogen and insect diseases, stresses from chemical sprays and so on. LeafSpec is the first of its kind in the world, which can be easily deployed at any location. (United States)

Ostara is passionate and focused on driving meaningful change in crop nutrition for all soils and all crops. They are committed to providing the Ag market with sustainable, high-efficiency, innovative fertilizers. Ostara’s products work better than conventional alternatives through increased efficiency, increased nutrient availability, reduced inputs, and a substantial reduction in environmental impact. (United States)

PES Technologies is the future of soil health measurement. Their unique sensor product provides the biological, chemical, and physical indicators needed for a comprehensive soil health assessment in 5 minutes. They can make the mass testing of soil health needed by industry affordable to improve understanding of soil health and the impact of regenerative and sustainable farming practices. (United Kingdom)

Solena Ag pioneers agricultural transformation through Prometheus, their AI platform that allows agricultural soil microbiome engineering. Harnessing advanced tech and soil microbiome data, they tailor farming plans for each farmer, optimizing inputs. This innovation boosts yields and sustainability simultaneously, redefining the future of sustainable and productive agriculture. (Mexico)

About BioSTL

Founded in 2001, BioSTL has been a cornerstone of St. Louis’ innovation landscape, fostering a dynamic economy through convening stakeholders, engaging in public policy, and delivering targeted programs. Our mission is to cement the city’s position as a hub for addressing global challenges in agriculture, food, biopharma, and healthcare. BioSTL leads nationally acclaimed initiatives in three key areas:

Startup creation and investmentBioGenerator has been the springboard for more than 125 startups, equipping them with the capital, resources, and guidance necessary to thrive.

Strategic business attractionGlobalSTL positions St. Louis as a center for international innovation. Our efforts attract cutting-edge companies and entrepreneurs from across the globe, bolstering the region’s visibility and reputation.

Cultivating an equitable workforce — Our Talent and Workforce programs are dedicated to developing a diverse and inclusive workforce, ensuring that the growth of companies is supported by talented individuals from all backgrounds.

BioSTL is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) funded by charitable contributions and grants targeting the future of St. Louis. Learn more about us at BioSTL.org.

Media Instructions

B-roll and on-site interviews are available with Donn Rubin (BioSTL CEO), Vijay Chauhan (ReACH/BioSTL), and other coalition members, as schedules permit. Please contact Amy Gwin — 314-397-8544, [email protected]

CONTACT: Amy Gwin BioSTL 314-397-8544 [email protected] 

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