“In the past six years, TFF has worked with over 15,000 young leaders from 160 countries and helped launch over 50 startups delivering innovation across the entire food and agricultural value chains and enabled solutions to important challenges such as improving productivity, sustainability, and nutrition. We provide specialist knowledge, industry contacts and capital, develop new ideas, and have already co-founded more than 50 start-ups in the fields of biotechnology, food, agriculture and logistics," emphasizes Christine Gould, Founder and CEO of TFF, in her speech.
In addition to breeding high-performing and resource-saving varieties, one of KWS’s strategic pillars includes the development of sustainable solutions for agriculture, e.g. using digital instruments. With its commitment, KWS wants to drive forward groundbreaking innovations in the seed industry and agriculture. The three-year collaboration will include learning and mentoring programs, global and local events, and access to young entrepreneurs and innovators.
“For us, partnerships such as those with TFF are a valuable breeding ground to work with the next generation of experts and thought leaders in food and agriculture, to share our knowledge, and to identify and develop new trends. We are happy to support fresh ideas and to help shape them", says Laura Lee in dialogue with TFF. She is part of the Digital Innovation Accelerator (DIA) at KWS. The DIA is KWS's innovation team tasked with fostering KWS's and farmers' adoption of digital innovations for the benefit of worldwide agriculture. It aims to fast-track the pace of agtech development by collaborating with companies and organizations creating novel digital technologies. KWS already offers farmers a wide range of digital services, such as the unique SAT TS-Monitoring system, which uses satellite imagery to determine the optimum time for harvesting silage corn.
"The young generation has clear values, a pronounced entrepreneurial mindset, and plenty of great ideas. To implement these ideas, however, not only specialist knowledge is required, but also, among other things, expertise in economic or technical implementation and capital”, explains Gould. Start-ups in the agricultural and food technology segment worldwide raised a total of around 15 billion euros in investment funds in 2018. This corresponds to an increase of 43 percent compared with the previous year. “In addition, innovations in the agricultural sector are still very decentralized. This is precisely where TFF comes in and networks the relevant groups across national borders. It is very important for us to have KWS as an industry partner."
The Berlin event hosted this June marked a new steppingstone for KWS and TFF to further involve KWS employees in TFF’s programs. One such program is TFF Digital Labs, the first global digital accelerator and learning platform for food and agriculture entrepreneurs and startups, which will be officially launched on World Food Day, October 16, 2019. The platform enables communication, knowledge management, collaboration, and mentoring.