Leading ag-tech innovators revealed as UPL’s Radicle Carbon & Soil Challenge finalists are announced

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  • Challenge sought to advance most novel technology solutions to reduce carbon footprint and improve soil health of the food value chain
  • Finalists drawn from over 150 entries and 40 countries to compete for a substantial investment at Pitch Day event on 21 March

28 February 2022, London: UPL Ltd. (NSE: UPL, BSE: 512070, LSE GDR: UPLL), a global provider of sustainable agriculture products and solutions, and Radicle Growth, a company-building platform for early-stage agriculture and food technologies, today announced six entrepreneur finalists for “The Radicle Carbon & Soil Challenge by UPL”.

As a part of its mission to ‘Reimagine Sustainability’ and commitment to reshaping agriculture as a climate-positive force, UPL is working to invest in and support early-stage entrepreneurs and collaborate to scale up innovative agricultural technologies. The inaugural Radicle Carbon & Soil Challenge therefore sought companies of all stages from around the world working on novel technologies focussing on soil health, strengthening crop resilience and profitability, and reducing agriculture’s carbon footprint.

The six selected finalists – covering soil carbon sequestration, natural microbes, molecules, and fungi, and data and analytics – will now compete through a Pitch Day event held on 21 March and compete for a substantial investment. Alongside the investment, the winners will also gain access to UPL and Radicle’s leading agricultural expertise, mentorship, and global networks to further develop and advance their technologies.

Jai Shroff, Global CEO of UPL, said:

“At UPL, we firmly believe that technology catalyses change. Guided by our OpenAg purpose, we believe the best way of harnessing these transformative technologies and generating the greatest impact is through collaboration. That is why we are so pleased to have launched the Carbon & Soil Challenge with Radicle. We are thrilled to have seen so many impressive applicants pushing the boundaries of modern farming and showcasing the positive role agriculture can play in global decarbonisation efforts and the fight against climate change.

I look forward to hearing more about the finalists’ innovative solutions and visions for sustainable agriculture at the Pitch Day. I am confident that working together we can further our mission to Reimagine Sustainability for farmers, food systems and the planet.”

We are proud to announce that the finalists are:

  • Groundwork BioAg (Israel) – A global bioagriculture company that leverages the natural power of mycorrhizal fungi to improve the productivity, sustainability and profitability of commercial agriculture and expand regenerative agriculture practices.
  • MicroMGx (USA) A company based on a newly developed discovery platform called MetaboloGenomics that uses bioinformatics to combine genomics and metabolomics information to identify novel natural products.
  • Phospholutions (USA) – Technology that works by releasing nutrients based on a chemical gradient rather than environmental conditions, better aligning with plant needs throughout the growing season.
  • Pluton Biosciences (USA) Mines microbes (bacteria, fungi, viruses) to find novel solutions to agricultural problems. Microbes identified by Pluton’s approach can kill pests, protect against diseases, and even pull carbon dioxide out of the air.
  • SmartCloudFarming (Germany) – A soil analytics start-up building a global soil data pipeline and bringing transparency and trust to regenerative agriculture. Using remote-sensing data and neural networks, we assess and monitor soils remotely and create 3D digital carbon zone maps.
  • ucrop.it (Argentina) – A mobile-app-blockchain-based-crop-log that enables farmers and collaborators to gather field data information regarding the crop cycles moments and record crop practices along with their digital signatures endorsing agriculture evidence on how, when and where their crops are being produced.

Kirk Haney, Managing Partner, Radicle Growth, said:

“We are incredibly impressed with the game-changing technologies that we have identified through the Radicle Challenge process,” said Kirk Haney, Managing Partner, Radicle Growth. “We believe these technologies can be transformative in helping our farmers produce more food while also reducing its carbon footprint.”

Each company will present to a panel of global agribusiness judges at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, CA, on 21 March at 1:30pm. These industry leading experts include Jai Shroff, UPL Global CEO, Kirk Haney, Radicle Growth CEO & Managing Partner, Guilherme Scheffer, Scheffer Chief Commercial, Harry H. Stine, Stine Seed CEO, Cristine Morgan, Soil Health Institute CSO and Celso Luiz Moretti, Embrapa President.

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