17 August 2022, Israel: ICL, a leading global specialty minerals company, and Evogene Ltd., a leading computational biology company focused on revolutionizing product discovery and development in multiple life-science based industries, announced today a multi-year, strategic, collaboration agreement between ICL and Lavie Bio Ltd., a subsidiary of Evogene.
Lavie Bio is a leading ag-biologicals company focusing on improving food quality, sustainability and agriculture productivity through the introduction of microbiome-based products. Lavie Bio’s unique approach uses Evogene’s tech engine MicroBoost AI, leveraging big-data, advanced artificial intelligence (AI), in combination with a deep understanding of biology.
As part of the collaboration, ICL will make a $10 million investment in Lavie Bio under a SAFE (simple agreement for future equity). The investment will be made via ICL Planet Startup Hub, which is the platform ICL uses to invest in and collaborate with innovative companies in the foodTech and agriTech domains.
The collaboration will focus on developing novel bio-stimulant products to enrich fertilizer efficiency. Combining Lavie Bio’s ag-biologicals expertise and cutting-edge technology with ICL’s advanced knowledge of fertilizer use and farmers’ needs is aimed to facilitate the development of new and innovative products for the agriculture industry.
Ag-biologicals are externally applied products derived from natural, biological sources, including microbials, macrobials, biochemicals and minerals, and used to optimize overall plant and soil health. Ag-biological products include bio-stimulants, for maximizing plant yield, quality and durability, as well as bio-pesticides, for pest management. According to Fortune Business Insights, the ag-biologicals market was valued at $7.42 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach $20.59 billion by the end of 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 13.68%.
Mr. Elad Aharonson, President of Innovative Ag Solutions for ICL, said, “ICL is committed to creating impactful solutions for humanity’s sustainability challenges in the global food, agriculture and industrial markets, and this collaboration with Lavie Bio very much resonates with our sustainability goals and values. The collaboration demonstrates ICL’s commitment to bringing to market new, sustainable technologies for our customers. It also provides us with a strong platform to enter the ag-biologicals market, which we see as highly complementary to our existing agriculture business. Following an extensive evaluation of Lavie Bio’s technical capabilities, we enthusiastically look forward to collaborating with them to bring much needed novel ag-biological products to the global market.”
Mr. Ofer Haviv, President & CEO of Evogene and Chairman of the Board of Lavie Bio, stated, “I wholeheartedly welcome Lavie Bio’s collaboration with ICL, a key global provider for the agricultural market. Together, we have significant potential to develop novel ag-biologicals, which are expected to allow for the improvement of global food quality, agricultural sustainability and productivity, especially in a time of food scarcity, high prices and macroeconomic uncertainty. We look forward to working closely with our new partners in bringing improved solutions to farmers worldwide, while advancing Lavie Bio to the next stage in its development.”