ICL Group a global specialty minerals company, announced its agriFood innovation and investment platform, ICL Planet Startup Hub, has led an investment round in Agrematch, an artificial intelligence (AI) agriTech startup.
The two companies agreed to launch a joint, multiyear program to use Agrematch's AI system for the discovery of novel crop nutrition solutions, to bring innovative products to ICL's global offerings.
Founded in 2017, Agrematch has been developing and refining its unique AI4AI - Artificial Intelligence for Active Ingredients platform ever since. ICL Growing Solutions, the agriculture division of ICL, is partnering with Agrematch as a strategic investment designed to be complementary to, and synergistic with, its long-term growth plans. The Agrematch platform is expected to produce proprietary compounds developed as unique biostimulants and plant nutrition products, ultimately optimizing overall plant and soil health and maximizing plant yield, quality and resilience.
"ICL's partnership with Agrematch brings the rapidly evolving application of AI into ICL's agricultural development ecosystem," noted Hadar Sutovsky, vice president of external innovation and general manager of ICL Planet Startup Hub. "Agrematch's AI4AI prediction platform has the potential to streamline our compound discovery process, reduce the time and costs involved, and lead to the development of more effective and efficient crop solutions."
Within the AI4AI system, Agrematch models are trained to fulfill the specifications of a well-defined product concept. The system's predictive algorithms run through billions of molecules in a massive proprietary database. Novel compounds can thus be designed, creating a shortlist of candidates with the desired functionalities.
"This collaboration will focus on developing novel biostimulants products that provide superior results for plants," said Elinor Erez, PhD, vice president of R&D for ICL Growing Solutions. "It supports our strategy to continue investing in the ag-biologicals market, which we see as highly complementary to - and aligning with - our existing agriculture business and the future of our specialty crop nutrition portfolios."
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