$ 8+ billion of increased investments
raised for 2021-2025

Innovation Sprints

An innovation sprint is an increase in aggregate self-financed investment from non-government partners to achieve an outcome/output in agriculture innovation and for climate-smart agriculture and food systems to be completed in an expedited timeframe. AIM for Climate innovation sprint focal areas are: Smallholder Farmers in Low- and Middle-Income Countries; Methane Reduction; Emerging Technologies and Agroecological Research. Please note AIM for Climate does not provide funding for innovation sprints, funding should be secured prior to submitting a proposal.  If you are interested in learning more about the innovation sprints listed, please feel free to reach out to the point-of-contact listed below directly.

AIM for Climate is currently accepting proposals for innovation sprints to be announced at the AIM for Climate Summit, proposals are due by Friday, February 24, 2023.

Innovation Sprint Partner Framework Document

Accelerating Synthetic Nitrogen Reductions with Nitrogen-Producing Microbes

Pivot Bio is committed to eliminating the need for synthetic nitrogen and replacing it with biological nitrogen, reducing GHG emissions worldwide. To calculate these benefits we will track, quantify, and verify the reduced emissions from the avoidance of synthetic nitrogen. We are committing to $291 million over 4 years in both R&D and product development to rapidly scale new adoption across the globe by improving the nitrogen replacement capacity of our microbes.

Point of contact

Climate-Resilient soil fertility management by smallholders in Africa, Asia, and Latin America

Addressing both climate challenges and the current fertilizer supply crisis, this sprint will enable and empower small-scale producers in target regions of Africa, Asia, and Latin America to achieve effective and efficient nitrogen fertilizer management over the next four years (2022-2025). By tailoring validated fertility management practices to their specific conditions, smallholders will optimize productivity, enhance climate resilience, and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. With a planned budget of approximately $89 million until the end of 2025.

Participants

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Point of contact

  • Sieglinde Snapp
  • Sustainable Agricultural Systems Program Director
  • CIMMYT

Climate Resilience For African Farmers Through Next Generation Weather Intelligence

TomorrowNow.org, Tomorrow.io and partners are pioneering an Africa-first innovation spirit to empower 20 million smallholder farmers over five years with next-gen location-based timely agri-weather services. Together, we build on established activities in East Africa, including efforts funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to leverage $80 million in private sector investment and $20 million in transformative philanthropy to connect governments and local agricultural value chain partners with next-gen weather intelligence and lay the foundations for rapid scale and sustainability.

Enteric Fermentation R+D Accelerator

This Sprint has mobilized $70 million and aims to mobilize at least $200 million total from philanthropy, public and private sector in a global, coordinated research and development initiative to accelerate progress in development and implementation of methane mitigating technologies. The Sprint will address: long-term trials of feed additives; development of new additives; genetic tools and protocols to select for low-emitting livestock; microbiome research to underpin the above research areas; and information necessary to facilitate regulatory approval of mitigation technologies.

Agtech Accelerator: Cultivating Canadian Agtech

Agtech Accelerator is a venture capital-backed program established by Cultivator powered by Conexus, Economic Development Regina, and Emmertech to increase the investment, innovation, and adoption of climate-smart agriculture technology. Bolstered by the $60 million Emmertech fund, this three-year innovation sprint provides agtech startups across Canada and the UK with access to the capital, programming, and connections needed to address issues in food security and the climate crisis.

Innovating Models for the Sustainable Scaling of Smallholder-Inclusive Agroforestry

On-farm agroforestry has proven benefits for income, agricultural productivity, adaptation, and mitigation on smallholder farms in low and middle income countries. This partnership leverages over $50 million in committed funding to plant 250M trees by 2025. In doing this, it will compare the cost-efficiency and effectiveness of four innovative scaling models, to pioneer the mass deployment of tree-planting for climate-vulnerable farmers in 9 African countries, with the goal of planting 1 billion trees in the next decade.

Point of contact

AgMission: Cultivating Climate-Smart Solutions

The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) and the World Farmers Organisation established AgMission™. At the core of climate change is greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Agriculture contributes roughly 13 percent of global GHG emissions, yet the sector has the potential to also mitigate climate change. While advances to activate agriculture’s mitigation potential are happening in fields and labs around the world, there is no unifying force connecting this work or fostering inclusivity and collaboration among scientists, farmers and ranchers.

AgMission is filling this void by establishing a global collective of farmers, ranchers and scientists co-creating and rapidly expanding innovation, adaptation and the adoption of climate-smart technologies. By driving collaboration across agricultural and scientific communities, AgMission is accelerating effective, economically viable and locally customized climate-smart solutions.

AgMission has raised $45 million, including FFAR's matching funds, and continues to fundraise for this unprecedented initiative.

Fast Tracking Climate Solutions from CGIAR Genebank Collections

A new $40M initiative led by the CGIAR, in partnership with the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will unlock key climate-resilient traits from CGIAR’s vast global genebank collections. This Innovation Sprint will expand the utilization of high-value genetic diversity to address current and emerging climate challenges faced by millions of smallholder farmers worldwide. The initiative welcomes additional partners from all sectors to scale this critical work.

Point of contact

  • Andre Zandstra
  • Global Director
  • Innovative Finance and Resource Mobilization, CGIAR

Cellular Agriculture: Addressing Climate Change and Promoting Resilience in the Protein Sector

Cellular agriculture includes techniques for making animal products with significantly reduced environmental impact. Cultivated meat is a prime example: it can slash greenhouse gas emissions, land use and water use considerably. Through a $40 million investment in R&D over five years, this multi-stakeholder Innovation Sprint, carried out by Aleph Farms, enables a just transition to resilient production systems that enhance food security, spur economic growth, empower local communities and foster regional cooperation. 

Point of contact

Growing a more sustainable global food system through vertical farming technology

Crop One Holdings and Emirates Flight Catering entered a $40 million joint venture to open ECO 1 in Dubai, UAE. The 330,000 sqft facility will provide food security for the Middle East by producing over three tons of high-quality leafy greens daily, using 95% less water than conventionally grown produce. ECO 1 is designed for continuous output of clean leafy greens grown without pesticides or chemicals. Crop One is helping grow a more sustainable global food system through its industry-leading vertical farming technology.

Point of contact

  • Jackie Hynes
  • Director of Marketing and Communications
  • Crop One Holdings, Inc

IBM Sustainability Accelerator

The IBM Sustainability Accelerator is a pro-bono social impact program advancing nonprofit and government initiatives that support vulnerable populations while addressing environmental challenges, including climate change, extreme weather, and pollution. IBM will provide the first cohort of participating organizations with technology and expertise to accelerate climate-smart agriculture solutions. Partners are welcome globally. Through 2025, Accelerator projects will receive an estimated market value of $30 million in IBM support including $10 million focused on sustainable agriculture.

Point of contact

Accelerating Sustainable Protein Innovation through Research

To put global agriculture on a path to mitigate 10 Gt CO2eq per year from protein production by 2050, the Good Food Institute and EIT Food, with support from Climate and Land Use Alliance, and Good Energies Foundation, Climate Advisers, are investing $41 million in open-access research globally to accelerate the development of sustainable plant-based and cultivated meats that are comparable in taste and price to conventional meat, and can generate new economic opportunities. Widespread adoption of sustainable proteins will mitigate direct methane emissions from agriculture, reduce deforestation, and free up millions of hectares for conservation and climate-focused land management.

Point of contact

  • Stephanie von Stein
  • Senior Associate Director of International Engagement
  • Good Food Institute

Digital resources for scaling up climate-informed agroecological transitions

The Agroecological TRANSITIONS’ Inclusive Digital Tools project (ATDT) aims to leverage $25 million to develop digital solutions for smallholder farmers to scale up agroecological practices. The program will expand access of low-cost digital technical advisories and performance assessment tools to 100K farmers in ten countries and five value chains in Asia, Africa and Latin America. This will enable farmer co-creation and rapid development of site-appropriate climate change resilience and mitigation measures based on agroecological principles.

Livestock, Climate and System Resilience

A new $24 million initiative led by the OneCGIAR, Livestock, Climate and System Resilience (LCSR) is designed to meet the “double burden” challenge that climate change poses for livestock production. It addresses both adaptation and mitigation priorities for livestock production systems in Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Mali, Senegal, Guatemala, and Colombia, delivering strategic, well-targeted action research that provides answers to the tough choices and tradeoffs, as well as ‘investable’ solutions that influence policy and attract climate finance.

Innovative and impact oriented delivery of climate-resilient bean varieties by African research networks

The Pan-Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA) and its partners will empower seed system actors to deliver climate-resilient bean varieties more efficiently to smallholder farmers in Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. Mobilizing $20 million toward a demand-led and research-guide ‘bean corridor’ approach, this sprint innovation will accelerate bundling and scaling genetic and institutional innovations to improve bean productivity for three million farmers, two million of them accessing remunerative markets and 60% being women.

The environmental and economic power of climate-smart agriculture

There is a way to help farmers grow their incomes more sustainably using Climate-smart agriculture. Collaborating with USAID, the Rainforest Alliance, and industry partners, ofi is working with cocoa farmers in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, under the Resilient Ecosystems and Sustainable Transformation of Rural Economies (RESTORE) project. Over five years, USAID, ofi, and partners are investing $14 million  in supporting 15,000 farmers to acquire skills and tools to better protect their livelihoods and landscapes.

Climate Resilience Through Crop Protection Innovation

Guided by its purpose to advance innovation in agriculture for a sustainable future, CropLife International is launching an initiative to accelerate access and uptake of climate-smart crop protection innovations for smallholder farmers in Asia, Africa, and Central America. Through a new investment of over $13M over 5 years, the multi-stakeholder Innovation Sprint supports farmers to do “more with less” and increase their ability to mitigate and adapt to pest and disease challenges using climate friendly approaches.

Participants

Point of contact

Climate Proofing 0.5 billion acres around the world by 2024

The ClimateAi team seeks to “climate-proof” 0.5 billion acres around the world by 2024 by deploying AI-driven adaptation tools that boost agricultural productivity despite climate change. ClimateAi’s innovative climate analytics (1 day to 40 years out) help farmers and agribusinesses adapt by enabling data-driven decisions to maximize yield, crop quality, resource efficiency, and financial stability/profits while reducing GHG emissions per ton. ClimateAi recently raised $12M from investors and $250k in grant funding from the National Science Foundation.

Participants

Point of contact

Climate Smart Rice Technology Project

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Bayer Crop Science will engage with smallholder farmers in Asia and Africa in research on sustainable adoption of direct seeded rice. The project’s goal is to improve farmer livelihoods integrating gender equity while reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the rice growing systems. Through 2025, USAID will invest $8.5 million at IRRI in partnership with Bayer Crop Science contributing an additional up to $4 million of in-kind support.

Point of contact

  • Stella Salvo
  • Head of Breeding Partnerships for Smallholder Farming
  • Bayer Crop Science

Unlocking the potential of enhanced rainfed agriculture to improve Africa’s resilience to climate change

The Transforming Investments in African Rainfed Agriculture (TIARA) initiative is challenging the status-quo on rainfed agriculture with an evidence-based approach to unlock the knowledge, skills and behaviours that are necessary for investments in climate smart enhanced rainfed agriculture to happen at scale in Africa. Led by  SIWI and CIFOR ICRAF, the TIARA project aims to mobilize $6.9 million through 2025 and build the case for sustainable funding mechanisms such as Payments for Ecological Services.

Capturing plant diversity with new tools to accelerate deployment of climate-smart legumes with improved disease resistance

Climate change is a growing threat to food security, reducing crop yields and increasing vulnerability to pathogens and pests. Legumes are a critical source of nutrition for people, animals, and soils. 2Blades will exploit proprietary genomics tools and germplasm resources developed through an initial $35 million investment, with new investment of $6.6 million to economically scale gene discovery, and accelerate deployment in legumes for Africa. 2Blades seeks partners for development and funding totaling $12.7 million to further scale efforts.

Point of contact

Nourishing Prosperity Alliance (NPA)

NPA is led by Land O’Lakes Venture37 with Forage Genetics International, Corteva Agriscience, and the International Livestock Research Institute. The pilot launched in Kenya in 2020, providing a scalable, market-wide solution to key gaps in the animal nutrition market to improve dairy production, boost climate resilience among farmers, increase access to animal-sourced foods, and reduce emissions by promoting climate-smart agriculture and optimized animal nutrition practices. NPA has crowded in over $6.6 million in in-kind and financial investments.

Point of contact

  • Giselle Aris
  • Group Director, Strategic Partnerships and New Ventures
  • Land O’Lakes Venture37

Greener Cattle Initiative: Addressing Enteric Methane Emissions

The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy and industry partners are launching the Greener Cattle Initiative, a public-private partnership aimed at reducing enteric methane emissions from dairy and beef cattle, a major climate change contributor. This five-year initiative is awarding $5M in research grants to identify, develop and/or validate scientifically sound, commercially feasible and socially responsible mitigation options. This research advances the sectors’ voluntary greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.

U.S. Regenerative Cotton Fund

The U.S. Regenerative Cotton Fund (USRCF) will work in partnership with U.S. cotton growers and the U.S. cotton industry to implement regenerative soil health practices across more than one million acres of U.S. cotton cropland over the next five years, with the goal of eliminating one million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent from the atmosphere by 2026. The USRCF is supported by a $5M investment from the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation.
Learn more of the core elements of the USRCF:

Point of contact

State-of-the-art remote sensing of methane from rice cultivation

Paddy rice emissions due to flood duration vary significantly across regions and the inability to monitor emissions cost-effectively at scale and in real-time limits mitigation practices.  This Sprint will integrate field-scale data, biogeochemical modeling, and satellite observations to develop the ability to measure CH4 emissions from rice fields directly from space.  The Sprint leverages existing investment totalling $4 million and seeks additional funding for analysis, ground-truth data collection, scenario-building exerciseslivestockgre, and dissemination.

Pathways to Dairy Net Zero

The Pathways to Dairy Net Zero (P2DNZ) is a program across the global dairy sector to reduce GHG emissions. P2DNZ has identified 10 emerging dairy countries as “Early Adopters” for the program that together represent >30% of global dairy GHG emissions. The initiative will help transform the dairy sector in these countries to achieve major reductions in GHG emission. PDNZ has already secured $3 million commitments and will attract additional funding from the Green Climate Fund and other donor groups to make the transition possible. 

Rice plant genetics and the root microbiome: role in mediating trace gas emissions

With a $3 million initial investment, colleagues at the University of California Davis and Berkeley are leveraging their team’s interdisciplinary expertise to achieve a systems-level understanding of greenhouse gas fluxes in rice plants at the plant-microbe interface. They will carry out large scale phenotyping and genotyping approaches to develop new tools to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

Soil organic carbon sequestration opportunities in soils of Latin America and the Caribbean

The objective of this Innovation Sprint is to contribute to the design of land use and management with high potential for soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration in agricultural production systems of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and to build capacities in LAC for the quantification and monitoring of SOC stocks. The project is expected to be completed by May 2025 with a total investment of approximately $1.5M.

Satellite monitoring of quantity and quality of available biomass in pastoral livestock systems

The objective of the Innovation Sprint is to lower the cost of estimating the quantity and quality of biomass available in pastoral livestock systems through a satellite tool, in real-time and with adequate precision. The project is expected to be completed by May 2026, with a total investment of approximately $1.3M.

ESG Framework for Alternative Protein Products

FAIRR Initiative and the Good Food Institute (GFI), with several partners including Breakthrough Institute, have developed a standardized environmental, social and governance (ESG) framework for the alternative protein industry. Alternative proteins generate lower emissions and use less land and water than conventionally produced animal proteins. Robust ESG measurement tools will enable companies to demonstrate to investors and the market the climate benefits of alternative proteins, and allow for comparability between meat-based and alternative protein products and portfolios. Total expected investment of $1.27 million over 5 years.

Point of contact