UPL-Radicle Natural Plant Protection (NPP) Challenge reveals finalists competing for US$1.75M investment

UPL-Radicle Natural Plant Protection (NPP) Challenge reveals finalists competing for US$1.75M investment

London – UPL Corporation, a global provider of holistic and sustainable agricultural solutions, and Radicle Growth, a company-building platform investing in early-stage agriculture and food technologies, Wednesday announced the finalists of ‘The Radicle Natural Plant Protection (NPP) Challenge by UPL. The Challenge sets out to invest US $1.75M in startup companies from around the world that are advancing natural and biological solutions to protect crops from biotic stresses such as bacteria, fungi, nematodes, insects, arachnids, and weeds. The four finalists competing for investment are:

  • IBI-Ag: IBI Ag harnesses the power of antibodies to develop bioinsecticides that target pests with precision while minimising environmental impact.
  • Impetus Agriculture: Impetus Agriculture is developing new biological insect control products with the effectiveness of legacy chemical methods of control.
  • SOLASTA Bio: SOLASTA Bio is a bioinsecticides company designing nature-inspired, selectively targeted peptide insect control products.
  • Trillium Ag: Trillium Ag is developing a platform to unlock RNAi for precise, sustainable, and effective crop protection.
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Mike Frank, CEO of UPL Corporation, said, “We were delighted to receive 237 applications for the NPP Radicle Challenge – signalling the extraordinary innovation happening across the biologicals space. Our business unit Natural Plant Protection (NPP) offers growers an extensive portfolio of biosolutions to increase crop resilience and protection, improve nutrition, and support soil health, and we’re excited to work with pioneering innovators to help bring to market more nature-based solutions.”

Kirk Haney, Managing Partner of Radicle Growth, said, “We are incredibly impressed with the game-changing technologies we have identified through the Radicle Challenge process and believe these technologies can be transformative in advancing natural and biological control solutions in the food value chain.”

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“Each company will present to a panel of judges on March 18, 2024. A US $1 million investment will be made in The Challenge winner and a US $750,000 investment in the second-place winner to accelerate their growth. In addition to the funding, the winners will get access to advice from both UPL and Radicle senior executives to help accelerate their company’s business and technical efforts,” UPL informed.

The Radicle Natural Plant Protection Challenge marks the second competition led by UPL in collaboration with Radicle Growth, with a total of US $1.25M invested in two companies in the 2022 ‘UPRadicle Carbon & Soil Challenge’.

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