VC firm Artesian Venture Partners and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) have eached chipped in $25 million to create a new $50 million venture capital fund.

The agtech fund, named GrainInnovate, will support and resource start-ups which show the potential and commitment to deliver transformational impact to Australia’s grain grower profitability, according to the GRDC.

GRDC said the goal of the initiative is to drive the future profitability and sustainability of Australia’s grain growers, acknowledging the expanding need to attract the best and brightest minds to work on future-facing solutions implemented in real-time.

John Woods, chairman at GRDC said GrainInnovate is bringing disruption to the grains RD&E environment.

(l-r) Hon David Littleproud and John Woods, chairman at GDRC

Woods said, “While GRDC has a strong and diverse investment portfolio, this initiative will give grain growers access to cutting edge ideas and technologies whether developed in a shed in the back paddock in Parkes, or discovery in a Germany-based international life science company, or an agri-tech company in the Silicon valley.”

“This initiative is unique in that it’s focused entirely on the Australian grains industry. It also represents one of the largest institutional capital pools in Australia. It will act as a beacon to attract world-class agri technologies to boost innovation and modernisation across the grains industry.”

GrainInnovate will target scalable, high growth potential start-ups from all facets of the grains production and processing chain.

GRDC said the initiative is aimed at entrepreneurs and start-ups who work across a spectrum of areas including genetic tools and technologies, crop and environmental sensing, grain storage logistics, renewable technologies, managing frost and heat, task automation and crop protection technologies.

These start-ups can be founded anywhere, but as part of the fund’s investment due diligence, start-ups will need to demonstrate their commitment to delivering solutions to Australian grain grower issues.

Jeremy Colless, managing partner at Artesian said, “Artesian Venture Partners has raised $50 million to establish the fund, including a $25 million cornerstone investment from GRDC, the largest single investor in grains research in the country, and $25 million from Artesian.”

Artesian is a global alternative investment management firm with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore and New York. It was spun out of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) in 2004 and is focused on fixed income and venture capital markets.

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