GrainInnovate fund has $50 million for innovations

All grower’s eyes will be on where payouts from the $50 million GrainInnovate fund land to see what benefit it will bring to their grain growing operation – shown here is the Minister for Agri and Water Resources The Hon David Littleproud, pictured with GRDC Chairman Mr John Woods

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) has invested $25 million of its funds into a $50 million venture capital fund to draw start-up ideas from across the globe to focus on innovative solutions for grain growers’ hardest to solve problems.

GRDC has teamed up with a company trading as Artesian, described as an alternative investment management firm, to establish the $50 million GrainInnovate fund.

Goondiwindi grain grower and GRDC Chairman Mr John Woods said the driving reason for GrainInnovate is to flush out innovation and technology from throughout Australia and around the world that will be able to deliver transformational impact on grain grower profitability.

“Whether you’re a grower, breeder, research scientist, agronomist or ag tech developer – if you’ve got an innovation that can improve production or address a grains industry constraint – we want to hear from you so we can capitalise on those opportunities and maximise the productiveness of our systems.

“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.” said John.

Artesian Managing Partner Jeremy Colless said the company – a full stack venture capital firm with offices across the Asia-Pacific region – was excited about investing in world-leading agr-tech start-ups delivering innovations most applicable to grain growers.

“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,” Mr Colless said.

The initiative is setting its sights for entrepreneurs and start-ups.

It plans to work across areas including genetic tools and technologies, as well as crop and environmental sensing, grain storage logistics, renewable technologies, managing frost and heat, task automation and crop protection technologies.

The $50 million GrainInnovate fund is expected to attract funding applications worldwide. So the funds may well be spent on firms that operates outside Australia.

View the criteria to apply for a share of the pool at or to keep a check on what ideas the fund managers decide to payout the funds.