The Abu Dhabi Investment Office will back the three startups with financial and non-financial incentives to help push forward agritech in Abu Dhabi.
The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) has announced that it has signed individual agreements with Pure Harvest, FreshToHome and the US’s Nanoracks, as it looks to accelerate Abu Dhabi’s agritech capabilities on land, sea and – in the case of Nanoracks – space.
The agreements mean that ADIO will provide financial and non-financial incentives worth $41 million for the three startups to lead the evolution and elevation of agritech solutions in the UAE’s capital, by developing specific research and technologies that address global food security challenges.
The agreement will benefit each of the startups in varying ways. For home-grown, tech-enabled farming venture, Pure Harvest, the partnership will see it develop its smart farming and infrastructure technologies at its new farms in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi. E-grocery platform, FreshToHome, will expand its operational capabilities on land and sea, as well as its processing capabilities.
The really interesting point is the partnership with Nanoracks, the largest commercial user of the International Space Station and the company behind the first-ever commercial agritech space research programme. The company already has a presence in Abu Dhabi through its Starlab Space Farming Center, where it will develop its space-based technology to be applied to desert agriculture.
ADIO has demonstrated a long-standing interest in agritech and the news comes as a natural continuation of efforts established as part of the AgTech Incentive Programme, which was launched through the Ghadan 21 accelerator. ADIO also demonstrated its commitment to the cause this year through investments in AeroFarms, Madar Farms, RNZ and Responsive Drip Irrigation, at a total of $100 million.
"Abu Dhabi is pressing ahead at full steam with our mission to ‘turn the desert green’ and solve long-term global food security issues,” said Tariq Bin Hendi, Director General of ADIO. “We have created an environment where innovative ideas can flourish and this has enabled the rapid expansion of our agritech sector. Innovations from the companies we partnered with earlier this year are already propelling the growth of Abu Dhabi’s 24,000 farms. Partnering with Pure Harvest, FreshToHome and Nanoracks adds a realm of new capabilities to the ecosystem across land, sea and space."
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