The Yield Lab Asia Pacific announces the Winners of its Global Aquaculture Challenge 2021

Updated: Oct 20


The Yield Lab Asia Pacific Global Aquaculture Challenge 2021 Trophies and Sponsors

We are pleased to share the journey of the 8 Finalists and the Winners of The Yield Lab Asia Pacific Global Aquaculture Challenge 2021.


Earlier this year, The Yield Lab Asia Pacific announced the eight companies selected to participate in the Global Aquaculture Challenge 2021 "Transform Aquaculture Systems with Technology and Data". This latest The Yield Lab global challenge was issued as a call to action to draw out impactful aquaculture innovation from every corner of the globe, to become part of this subject matter lead, nonprofit accelerator program and competition. After a rigorous selection process involving 180 applications from all continents and sub-sectors of Aquaculture, the GAC 2021 cohort included: Feedvax (Argentina), Genufeed (Israel), Jala (Indonesia), Salmokine (Chile), Seawater Solutions (UK), TeOra (Singapore), Wittaya Aqua (Canada), and Xylome (USA). These companies consist of innovations in health and disease management, water quality management, nutrition, farming technology and span the universe of species: tilapia, barramundi, trout, shrimp, halophytes and others.


The Yield Lab Asia Pacific in conjunction with industry sponsors, are providing access to Prizes in excess of $1.6M USD. The GAC lead Sponsor, the US Soybean Export Council (USSEC), has made this Challenge possible. Sponsors contributing to the $1.6M USD in prizes are: IBM, IBM Research, Aqua Bridge, Salmon Sustentable of Chile, Enterprise Singapore, Startup SG, the Global Seafood Alliance and the Animal AgTech Innovation Summit. With the involvement of an array of subject matter experts from the most prestigious Corporates, NGOs, Private Companies, and Universities, The Yield Lab has orchestrated this Challenge in order to advance and scale sustainable aquaculture globally while actively addressing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.


The Yield Lab Asia Pacific Global Aquaculture Challenge 2021 Sponsors

In order to sustainably meet the nutritional needs of 10 billion people by 2050, an increase in diverse innovation in the area of agrifood and aqua technologies is required. Fish and Shellfish convert feed more efficiently than land-based animals, aquaculture desperately needs technology and data-driven solutions to improve farming systems, animal health and their impact on the environment, while improving production and supply chain efficiency, and thus accelerate the availability of this important protein.


The Global Aquaculture Challenge (GAC) was created out of necessity to help aquaculture innovators to become investable. It is a first of a kind, non-equity aquaculture accelerator program designed to have a global impact. At the Finale event on the 7th of October, all innovators pitched to a global audience of aquaculture experts and investors for cash and in-kind prizes.


The Yield Lab Asia Pacific Global Aquaculture Challenge 2021 Cohort's TOP-3 UN SDGs served

The GAC employs a global approach to global issues. Asia is host to 90% of the global aquaculture industry on a volume basis. That leaves tremendous potential for aquaculture to take off in other geographies of the world, and for innovators from any geography on the planet to solve entrenched industry problems. The GAC uses a holistic approach to solve complex issues in the aquaculture industry, by inviting innovators from industry, academia, NGOs, producers, or policymakers to stimulate change. The Challenge pairs viable, sustainable, and high impact innovations with experienced subject matter experts during the entire accelerator program. The bespoke technical, business and go-to-market mentoring creates added value for the innovations as well as providing access to investment opportunities.


This Challenge is a collaboration between The Yield Lab Institute, a non-profit entity which drives sustainable agrifood and aqua tech innovation globally, Spheric Research and The Yield Lab Asia Pacific. The latter is part of The Yield Lab, a global federation of funds that provides early-stage through Series-A investments in sustainable AgTech companies and has been a leader in the explosion of investment in the agriculture and food industries globally. Spheric Research on the other hand, founded by Matt Craze, provides industry with data and expertise in global seafood and novel food production systems.


After the Virtual Finale on the 7th of October, we are thrilled to present you the Winners.


TABLE OF CONTENTS:




Jala is the Winner of the

Aqua Bridge Middle East North Africa Prize for Innovation

of 50,000 USD assessed value


Jala developed an innovative integration of their shrimp data platforms to include farm management predictive analytics and actionable insights, field assistance, credit, insurance, and a trading platform all allowing improved farm economics and end-to-end traceability for producer communities and buyers.


Aqua Bridge Group is a company directly held by UAE Sheikh Ahmad bin Manna Al Maktoum, set up to ensure that the development of the region’s aquaculture industry passes through a quality filter based on a public-private partnership model. Jala is joining a bespoke, comprehensive and intensive incubator program to help them expand in the MENA region. The custom program comprises of a personalized mentorship, introduction to the MENA aquaculture ecosystem, basic advice on governmental and regulatory matters, opportunity to pitch to selected prospective investors, advice on funding approaches adopted in the MENA region, advice on risk mitigation strategies for the business, basics of marketing in the MENA region and office working space if needed for the full duration of the custom program.


Learn more about:


Back to the Table of Content



Salmokine is the Winner of the

Salmon Sustentable Prize for Transformation

of 50,000 USD assessed value


Salmokine developed an innovative platform based on the production of proteins "from the animal for the animal" immune system with first application in salmon. Their recombinant proteins are capable of modulating immunity and prompting the expression of antimicrobial peptides, providing protection against several pathogens without causing an exacerbated inflammatory reaction. This technology can be applied to complement vaccines or as feed supplement, reducing the use of antibiotics.


Salmon Sustentable is a program supported by the public investment agency CORFO | Chilean Economic Development Agency. Salmokine is joining a bespoke, comprehensive and intensive incubator program to introduce and scale their technology in Chile and in the LatAm region. The custom program comprises of an introduction to leaders of the Chilean Salmon ecosystem, prospective customers, available resources for R&D, industry organizations, and basic advice on governmental and regulatory matters.


Learn more about:


Back to the Table of Content



Wittaya Aqua is the Grand Winner of

The Yield Lab Asia Pacific

Global Aquaculture Challenge 2021

- Transform Aquaculture Systems with Technology and Data -


Wittaya Aqua is developing innovative software platforms based on advanced modeling that will enable seamless collaboration throughout the global aquaculture supply chain. Once integrated, these tools will be able to predict farm and feed productivity, efficiency, and economics as well as key sustainability metrics such as waste outputs, carbon footprint, and FIFO ratios. The platforms will also be able to benchmark ingredient, feed, and animal performance, enabling continuous improvement to aquaculture operations, providing insights to multiple stakeholders, species and geographies.


Wittaya Aqua receives a 120,000 USD Cash Prize that includes an Enterprise Singapore Startup SG grant of 30,000 SGD and a handcrafted Grand Winner Trophy at the courtesy of The Yield Lab Asia Pacific. The other sponsors of the Global Aquaculture Challenge 2021 Grand Prize are IBM, IBM Research and IBM Environmental Services who will provide bespoke consulting and services. Wittaya Aqua also won the opportunity to pitch at the Technology Showcase pitching session at the Animal AgTech Innovation Summits on Tue 19 Oct at 5pm CEST, and will be fast tracked to the TOP-100 finalist of Slingshot 2021 on 12 Nov. Follow us for the upcoming news about Wittaya Aqua.


Learn more about:


Back to the Table of Content



8 Finalists Benefits


On behalf of the Challenge Team, Advisors, Mentors, Subject Matter Experts, Speakers, the 70 global aquaculture experts engaged throughout this program, we would like to give a round of applause to our 8 Finalists. All 8 teams gave the best of themselves during this intense program, proactively engaging and truly determined to make a difference, bringing sustainable aquaculture to reality.


The Yield Lab Asia Pacific awards each one of the finalists with this artistic hand blown glass Trophy for making it to the Top-8 from 180 applications from all continents and all sub-areas of aquaculture.


Besides the 8 finalists all benefited from a

  • Bespoke, comprehensive, non-residential and non-equity taking acceleration program provided by The Yield Lab Asia Pacific and its aquaculture subject matter expert mentors and advisors bringing to a total of 70 aquaculture experts engaged throughout the program,

  • Individual introduction to potential partners and investors regionally and globally

  • Individual media spotlight

  • IBM AquaTech Support Service worth up to 180K USD per company

  • Access to Global Seafood Alliance GOAL conference and membership,

  • Access to Animal AgTech Innovation Summit conference.


Global Aquaculture Challenge 2021 Cohort Companies


Feedvax is developing an innovative oral vaccine platform that simplifies production, eliminates fish stress and enhances sustainability. Feedvax revolutionizes animal production from the inside and hacks classic production processes to drive truly sustainable impact by removing antibiotics and injectable vaccines from the production chain. The first vaccine is against streptococcus in tilapia. Currently, infectious diseases cause loss of enough fish to feed 90 million people. To combat infectious diseases, the industry uses antibiotics that become persistent in the food chain and/or injectable vaccines that require impractical handling and additional costs.

Global Aquaculture Challenge Spotlight Series: "Don't like to get a jab...neither do fish."

feedvax.com


Genufeed is developing a cost-effective insect-based fish feed production process that generates 100% fishmeal and fish oil-free aquafeed. This sustainable insect enrichment process utilizes locally produced insect larvae to be fed whole or chopped to the fish, reducing processing and costs while enhancing the local economy. Genufeed’s proprietary coating adds the exact combination of fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals that the fish need. The technology is modular, simple and designed to enhance aquaculture production, especially in developing markets.

Global Aquaculture Challenge Spotlight Series: "Disrupting Disruption in the Nascent Insect Industry"

genufeed.com


Jala is developing an innovative integration of their shrimp data platforms to include farm management predictive analytics and actionable insights, field assistance, credit, insurance, and a trading platform all allowing improved farm economics and end-to-end traceability for producer communities and buyers.

Global Aquaculture Challenge Spotlight Series: "Jala reaches maturity phase in digital shrimp farming model"

jala.tech



Salmokine is developing an innovative platform based on the production of proteins from the fish immune system. These recombinant proteins are capable of modulating immunity and prompting the expression of antimicrobial peptides, providing protection against several pathogens without causing an exacerbated inflammatory reaction. This technology can be applied to complement vaccines or as feed supplements, reducing the use of antibiotics.

Global Aquaculture Challenge Spotlight Series: "Salmokine taps new biotech tools to beat Chile’s salmon scourge."

salmokine.com


Seawater Solutions is developing an innovative integration of aquaculture and wetland agriculture to create a circular economy farming system producing a wide range of products from shrimp & finfish to salt-tolerant vegetables, sustainable fish feed, carbon credits, oils and minerals, and agro-forestry products. This technology enhances local economic viability and environmental remediation to the one third of the world's lands affected by climate threats such as salinization and coastal erosion.

Global Aquaculture Challenge Spotlight Series: "Seawater Solutions plans to use aquaculture to reverse desertification"

seawatersolutions.org



TeOra has developed proprietary technology platforms for natural, sustainable solutions to prevent disease and promote growth in shrimp. These solutions, designed using synthetic biology and encapsulation technology, address $300 billion in losses due to disease and overuse of pesticides and antibiotics. The technology platform can rapidly design low-cost growth enhancement and oral disease prevention solutions for aquaculture, by producing specific proprietary small proteins using precision fermentation of yeast.

Global Aquaculture Challenge Spotlight Series: "TeOra’s encapsulation technology could revolutionize the global shrimp industry."

teora.life



Wittaya Aqua is developing innovative software platforms based on advanced modeling that will enable seamless collaboration throughout the global aquaculture supply chain. Once integrated, these tools will be able to predict farm and feed productivity, efficiency, and economics as well as key sustainability metrics such as waste outputs, carbon footprint, and FIFO ratios. The platforms will also be able to benchmark ingredient, feed, and animal performance, enabling continuous improvement to aquaculture operations, providing insights to multiple stakeholders, species and geographies.

Global Aquaculture Challenge Spotlight Series: "Dietitian to the fish farming industry."

wittaya-aqua.ca



Xylome is developing a platform that allows the production of a sustainable and price competitive salmon feed from by-products of ethanol plants using a special fermentation of metabolic engineered and heat treated nonconventional yeast. The lipid, protein and pigment profile of the Xylome feed is similar to commercial fish feed without the use of fish meal or fish oil. This sustainable development program and process is circular by design, thus allowing the reutilization of raw materials and by-products.

Global Aquaculture Challenge Spotlight Series: "Xylome is a technology provider for agribusiness, with its yeast-based fish oil substitute."

xylome.com


Back to the Table of Content


Global Aquaculture Challenge 2nd Edition


Globally, aquaculture desperately needs technology and data-driven solutions to improve outcomes along the supply chain, from the natural resources that host production, all the way up to human health and nutrition while addressing climate mitigation in a global and systemic way, in order to provide the world with the fastest growing and most economical source of quality and sustainable protein... seafood.


Throughout this program, we have witnessed the industry, investors and innovators eagerness to collaborate more closely and interactively towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Yield Lab’s core competency is to act as a bridge between seed stage innovation and ready-to-be invested innovation. The program is designed to act as a first-mile innovation curator and readiness accelerator, providing bespoke mentoring by highly experienced and recognized industry subject matter experts in all aspects of science and business, in order to improve their Technology and Market Readiness.


Due to the overwhelming response to the 1st Edition of this program and the stellar technologies out there to be commercialized, The Yield Lab Asia Pacific is pleased to announce that a second Global Aquaculture Challenge will take place. If you or your organization is interested in taking part in this global initiative, please contact Larry Taylor larry@theyieldlab.com to learn about the Sponsorship Opportunities we offer. Larry is the Co-Founder of The Yield Lab Asia Pacific Fund and Board Member of The Yield Lab Institute non-profit arm of The Yield Lab global federation of AgTech Funds.

Back to the Table of Content



Behind the scenes.

The Yield Lab Asia Pacific and Spheric Research


The design and execution of The Global Aquaculture Challenge 2021 "Transform Aquaculture Systems with Technology and Data" would not have been possible without The Yield Lab Asia Pacific's exceptional partnership with Spheric Research started back in 2019. Matt Craze and Oriana Aguillon were instrumental throughout all stages of this first of a kind program and challenge. Their extended aquaculture expertise, knowledge and network have immensely contributed to the success of this program. The Yield Lab Asia Pacific is grateful for Spheric Research's outstanding contribution and continuous support.


This collaboration started upon a common diagnostic. Agriculture and Aquaculture are one of the oldest industries. After 12,000 years of history fulfilling mankind's basic need, today Aquaculture makes up a very small portion of the USD 4 Billions Agtech VC deals for 2020, that in turn is itself a small fraction of the $300 Billion invested globally across all sectors.


It is obvious that to meet the challenges aside from just a rapidly growing population, but also a changing climate, and all of the residual effects we face, more must be done to draw out and advance impactful innovation in aquaculture to increase safe and sustainable and affordable access to this fast growing highly nutritious protein.


But this is not easy. If we are going to truly transform this industry through science and expertise, we are going to have to find new ways to create innovative efficiencies, this means collaboration with cross industry technologies and applications, investments focused on financial, social and environmental outcomes, and producers developing new and innovative techniques.


If these companies are going to survive it is important to have access to relevant subject matter experts that understand the pain points that exist regionally and globally and can provide access through their hard earned 20-to-30-year relationships and close the gap with the Strategic companies, and R&D which are more than likely to invest or acquire these innovations. Most companies in the Agtech/Aqua space will not go public but will be acquired. So the faster you can close that gap the better. In The Yield Lab Asia Pacific case, via our vast Global network, and Funds pull these innovations globally, into their highest potential addressable market as fast as possible. In this way, it is good for the company’s survivability and valuation, and good for the investors, and even better towards our ability to provide affordable nutritious food for all.


We created our nonprofit The Yield Lab Institute to work with our regional Funds to identify areas across Agriculture that need more focus and attention from innovators. This is the reason The Yield Lab Asia Pacific created The Global Aquaculture Challenge. Aquaculture is very important in Asia providing 90% of the global aquaculture industry on a volume basis. Fish and Shellfish convert feed far more efficiently than land-based animals, and with 10 Billion people by 2050, we desperately need technology and data-driven solutions to improve farming systems, animal health and their impact on the environment, while improving production and supply chain efficiency, and thus accelerate the availability of this important protein.


We run these Challenges just as we do our equity taking side, across a year, with deep bespoke subject matter expert mentoring, with the main difference being that it is funded through external sponsorship, and it is non-dilutive. For this Challenge, we had a strong response with over 180 applications across the globe, which came evenly from Asia Pacific, Latam, Europe and ME with 50% Animal Health innovations, with the remainder spanning innovations focused on Water, Farm Technology and Algae/Seaweed, with many focused on the smallholder farmers.


The Yield Lab Asia Pacific Fund created and operated this non-profit initiative with Spheric Research, in conjunction with industry sponsors who provided access to Prizes in excess of USD 1.6M. We thank our lead Sponsor, the US Soybean Export Council (USSEC). Their active involvement has made this Global Aquaculture Challenge possible. Our other sponsors include IBM, Aqua Bridge, Salmon Sustentable of Chile, Enterprise Singapore, StartupSG, the Global Seafood Alliance and the Animal AgTech Innovation Summit. In addition, there has been an array of Industry Thought Leaders, and subject matter experts from the most prestigious Corporates, NGOs, Private Companies, and Universities, we thank you all.




About Spheric Research


Spheric Research was founded by Matt Craze, global Seafood and Novel Food expert. Matt’s consultancy partnered with Undercurrent News to produce exclusive market reports that harnessed the publication’s price data and broad knowledge of the global aquaculture industry. Spheric Research and Undercurrent News have published 12 market intelligence reports, including the first global database of land-based salmon and post-smolt farms that use recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) technology. A new report scheduled for publication in October 2021 will include the first database of all aquatic animal species raised using RAS technology.





About The Yield Lab Asia Pacific Fund


The Yield Lab Asia Pacific Fund based in Singapore is part of the global network of The Yield Lab Venture Capital Funds investing in innovative AgTech early stage companies. The Yield Lab to date has invested in 60 AgTech companies across Asia Pacific, North America, Latin American, Europe. We identify and accelerate impactful disruptive innovations across all aspects of the Agriculture industry with the mission to comprehensively address the ever-growing global food security issues with sustainable solutions. With our unique deep science and industry subject matter approach allowing our portfolio companies to complete commercialization of their innovations, and then through our vast The Yield Lab network, move them quickly around the globe, reaching their optimal addressable market, and highest valuation. Our goal is to sustainably outpace the nutritional and economic needs of the World through innovation that reverses the diminishing supply of natural resources and safely increases the availability of affordable nutritious food for all.



The Yield Lab Pte. Ltd.

3 HARBOURFRONT PLACE, #11-01, HARBOURFRONT TOWER 2, SINGAPORE 099254 Email: michelle@theyieldlab.com




Back to the Table of Content



14 Oct 2021.


Sophie Guo, Global Aquaculture Program Director, The Yield Lab Asia Pacific


169 views