AGRINNOVATION'S COMPANY PROFILE

Agrinnovation is a one-of-a-kind investment fund. While remaining steadfastly independent in all business related issues, the fund has exclusive access and first commercial rights to invest in IP developed in the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment of Israel’s elite academic institution, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This exclusive status grants us extra time to perform a deeper probe into the new technologies and to bring them from lab to market more swiftly, securely and freely.

Backed by an experienced SAB, we work closely with HU scientists and researchers to thoroughly test the technological applicability, scalability and patentability of each breakthrough. Once the technology has proven viable, together with our accomplished Commercial Advisory Board, we meticulously research and test the commercial feasibility of the project before investing and turning it into commercial start-up.

Agrinnovation was founded in 2015 by Yissum, the distinguished technology transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with over 2 billion dollars in annual sales. Shareholders also include VBS Agri Ventures Pty Ltd., Provident Fund of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Ltd. and Kingenta Livnat Agriscience Development. The fund is managed by Dr. Ido Schechter, who brings with him decades of business experience in hi-tech and agritech.

THE HEBREW UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has a long-standing record of academic excellence. Ranked among the 100 top universities in the world and first among Israeli universities, its rich history of achievements include 8 Nobel Prizes, 269 Israel Prizes, and 9 Wolf Prizes. Established in 1918, its first Board of Governors included Sigmund Freud, Martin Buber, and Albert Einstein.

FACULTY OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD,
AND ENVIRONMENT

Established in 1942 with 21 Masters students, the Faculty today has over 100 professors, and educates over 2,300 students from Israel and across the world. Its research activities play a central role in advancing global agriculture, protecting and rehabilitating the environment, increasing food production, and reducing world hunger.

Over the past 75 years, the Faculty’s groundbreaking R&D achievements have completely transformed global agriculture with innovations such as the

first drip irrigation, soil solarization, long shelf-life vegetables growing under intensive arid conditions, most efficient use of brackish water, among many more. The faculty is home for seven research centers and Israel’s largest and most advanced Agricultural Development Center covering a broad range of twelve fields of expertise:

  • Plant genetics
  • Water technology
  • Air pollution
  • Energy
  • Veterinary drugs & vaccines
  • Animal feed
  • Functional food & ingredients
  • Food processing
  • Plant protection
  • Domestic animals
  • Aquaculture
  • Cosmetics

THE AGRINNOVATION PORTFOLIO

ChickP: Protein-enriched chickpea ingredients to become the next food analogues

The Need:

Healthier, Safer & Greener high-quality plant protein alternative to the use of soy in the food market.

IP:
Unique process for the production of protein-enriched chickpea ingredients: A platform to an array of food products: meat & dairy substitutes, cereals, bars, etc. GMO-free & hormone-free.

In process:
Industrial scale-up, facility testing and business development

Link to ChickP website

Protective coatings for fruits and vegetables

The Need:
Fruits and vegetables suffer from deterioration due to loss of dry matter and, to a limited extent, evapotranspiration of water from the detached fruit. In addition, spoilage, decline in cellular turgor, and fruit softening occur due to enzymatic cell-wall breakdown in aging fruits and vegetables. Consequently, there is an acute need for protective coatings that can slow down these processes and extend the shelf-life of the produce.

The Solution:
Novel polymer formulations (film-type and emulsion-type) for fruit and vegetable coatings are being developed, along with suitable application techniques. Efficient film coatings for garlic and onion, and new formulations for glossy fruits (as pepper, avocado and citrus) have already been developed that successfully reduce fresh and dry weight loss, as well as spoilage during storage.

IP:
Edible coatings for plant matter – US 2015/0079248 A1; Australia Patent No. 2013239074
Edible Morpholine – free coating formulations – WO 2016/084094 A1

Market Potential:
Approximately 25 to 80% of freshly harvested fruits and vegetables are lost to spoilage, resulting in huge economic loss and food waste, in particular in developing countries in the warm tropical and subtropical regions, where cold storage and other means of shelf-life extension (sheds for protection from the elements, modulated atmosphere, and more) are rarely available. One method for post-harvest shelf-life extension under ambient conditions is the use of edible coatings as a substitute for energy-intensive refrigeration and costly controlled-atmosphere storage.

Company Vision:
To employ new coating formulations and apply edible protective films for biotechnology, fresh and processed produce, food as well as related industries (chemical, pharmaceutical, and medical fields).

The Team:
Prof. Amos Nussinovitch
Prof. Haim D. Rabinowitch
Dr. Yonatan Elkind
Mr. Zahi Rabinovitz, Food Technologist and Chef

Injectable controlled release platform for single-dose veterinary therapy

The Need:
Multiple-dose therapy reduces safety and clinical efficacy, as well as increase in animal handling. In addition, it results in an inefficient process to the owner and caregiver, raising cost while increasing bodily hardship to the animal.

The Solution:
A unique single-dose injectable controlled release platform capable of delivering different APIs for various veterinary needs. Currently, a single dose injectable Florfenicol drug product, an antibiotic used for swine respiratory disease (SRD), is being developed on this platform. The product will provide a more convenient, efficient, and economic solution to a prevalent infection in pigs.

IP:
Sustained-release injectable formulation – WO 2012131678 A1

Market Potential:
The drug product addresses the worldwide swine market. Florfenicol is a powerful antibiotic used to control SRD in pigs, as well as additional infections. A one-shot Florfenicol therapeutic option is expected to proliferate in the world’s antibiotics market and expected to take share of $60M P.A. (conservative forecast).

Company Vision:
To challenge additional therapeutic targets for antibiotics and additional pharmacological groups. To target the pig market and other valuable species thus increasing the economic potential.

The Team:
Prof. Michael Friedman
Prof. Amnon Hoffman
Prof. Eran Lavy
Zakhar Nudelman, Ph.D. – Project Manager

Pest and insect control using RF

The Need:
Agricultural crops are under constant threat of pests such as insects and nematodes that impair yields. Pests are currently managed with chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Thus, the future trend is to ban such chemicals altogether (Roundup and methyl bromide). Hence, there is a need to replace currently used chemicals with more environmentally friendly treatments.

The Solution:
Electronic pest control offers the perfect solution for the control of small insects (whiteflies and thrips) and nematodes. Electromagnetic devices are based on the absorption of energy by ionizing atoms or by inducing vibrations of charged particles within the matter, thus increasing temperature. The radio frequency (RF) part of the electromagnetic spectrum spans roughly from 3 kHz to 300 GHz. Although RF energy has been known to kill insects, it has rarely been used as an insecticide. Whiteflies, thrips, and nematodes are well suited for electromagnetic control with frequencies of mobile phones, or even lower. Preliminary experiments using RF below cell phone frequencies show that whiteflies’ ability to feed on tomato and cucumber plants was inhibited along with observed damage to Chromatin. Similarly, nematode movement was impaired. Hence, using RF devices has proven effective for protecting plant foliage from virus-infecting insects and the root system from nematode colonization.

IP:
Use of RF devices to protect plant foliage and root systems from agricultural pests.

Market Potential:
RF devices have the potential to replace chemical application in fields and greenhouses through spray and irrigation. The economic potential has no limit since it can replace a large chunk of the pesticide market, which is expected to reach 65.3 billion US$ in 2017.

The Team:
Nadav Bitton
Henryk Hanokh Czosnek

The first accurate, affordable and easy-to-use life science tool for the non-destructive detection, analysis and sorting of individual medical cannabis flowers.

The Need:
Doctors do not have 100% confidence that each time they prescribe medical cannabis it comes with the precise composition of active ingredients matching their patient’s therapeutic needs.

No means are available to accurately examine cannabis flowers without destroying them in the process. This shortcoming reduces flower efficacy and commercial value.

Today’s testing protocols estimate cannabis potency by examining a few specimen and attributing results average to an entire batch. Results are unreliable due to the heterogeneous nature of the cannabis plant. This creates a substantial risk for patients in need of exact composition and dosage for effective care.

The Solution:
Cannabi-Tech’s proprietary technology combines spectrometry and imaging tools to provide a sensitive and non-destructive method to detect and quantify the active compounds of the cannabis plant and a unique spectral fingerprint for each flower. The addition of a sorter will enable automated sorting of cannabis flowers by pre-set criteria suitable for mass production. An optional attachable label generator and automated packaging unit will pack flowers individually ensuring full composition and potency traceability and tracking for each and every flower from farmer to particular patient.

IP:
U.S. Provisional Patent App. No. 62/291,060 “System and Method for Qualifying Plant Material”

Market Potential:
Life sciences diagnostic tools are widely used in drug manufacturing quality assurance / quality control (QA/QC), as well as for research and production line automation. The cannabis industry is posed for significant growth as a result of increased interest in cannabis as a medicinal remedy by the general public, medical professionals and lawmakers. As the industry expands, there will be a rise in regulatory oversight, increased QA/QC testing, while rising market demand will need to be fulfilled by mass production, all which will drive Cannabi-Tech’s growth. By leveraging its proprietary technology, within a decade Cannabi-Tech will generate revenues in excess of US $100 million with a leading share of the medical cannabis diagnostics market.

Company Vision:
Cannabi-Tech strives to materialize the vast medical potential of the cannabis plant.

The Team:
Dr. Guy Setton – CEO
Professor Oded Shoseyov – Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Roni Attali – Scientific Director
Dr. Dana Yarde – Medical Advisor

THE AGRINNOVATION PIPELINE

Development of synthetic ‘non-proteinogenic amino acids’ as novel herbicide for cropping

The Need:
The wide use of Roundup®, the main herbicide presently used, is accompanied by increased acquired resistance by wild-weeds. As a result, the concentrations of herbicide use have increased dramatically. High concentrations and remanence of current herbicides increase the toxicity to humans and the environment.

IP:
Synthetic derivatives of aromatic amino acids (e.g. Phe-analogs) highly suitable, safe, highly specific and environment-friendly for the development of novel herbicides.

In process:
Lab and field experiments.

Novel solution for selecting the best plant for the required conditions

The Need:
Economic selection of the right plant (i.e. Crops, Cannabis, Trees etc.) with an optimal response to variable ambient conditions (e.g. climate, growth factors etc.)

IP:
A unique feedback platform which controls the experimental setup and enables the selection of plants with a superior optimized-dynamic behaviour by measuring multiple functional (physiological) parameters , replacing the need for labor intensive processes.

In process:
System 2nd generation, commercial phase. First order intake (300 units).