ICL Group, an established specialty minerals conglomerate, has taken a leap in shaping the future of agriculture. Their strategic alliance with Agrematch, a state-of-the-art AI agritech start-up, embodies the goal of implementing artificial intelligence in unveiling transformative crop nutrition advancements.
Established in 2017, Agrematch, spearheaded by seasoned industry stalwarts, has cultivated its proprietary AI tool, AI4AI (or “artificial intelligence for active ingredients”). Collaborating with ICL Growing Solutions, ICL’s agricultural wing, Agrematch seeks to fortify its long-term developmental trajectory. The Agrematch technology promises the cultivation of exclusive biostimulants and plant nourishment products. The aim is to bolster plant and soil vitality, intensifying crop yield, quality, and fortitude.
Historically, AI has marked its influential stance in unveiling novel compounds, especially within the pharmaceutical sphere. As reported by Insider Intelligence in 2022, AI has enabled pharmaceutical behemoths to cut down almost 70% of their exploration expenditures. This has also expedited the typically seven-year duration required for introducing a compound into trial stages by a staggering five years.
Hadar Sutovsky, at the forefront of external innovation at ICL Planet Start-up Hub, highlighted, “With Agrematch, ICL ventures deeper into the fast-evolving realm of AI within agricultural progress. The AI4AI prognostic platform could redefine our compound exploration endeavors, economizing on time and financial outlays, paving the way for potent and resource-efficient crop solutions.”
The current discovery paradigm must often address the escalating demand for sustainable crop nutrition commodities. Factors include the elongated, capital-intensive, and hazardous nature of product evolution. Coupled with amplified eco-friendly regulatory constraints, new product unveilings have a noticeable slump. Hence, a swifter and more streamlined method to pinpoint potent active ingredients is the need of the hour.
Eyal Ben-Chanoch, at the helm of Agrematch, voiced, “Our partnership with ICL symbolizes a quest for groundbreaking plant nutrition solutions. Leveraging AI has overhauled our discovery mechanisms, overcoming the linear progression and challenges inherent in traditional high-throughput screening approaches. AI4AI is architected to unearth functional compounds that meet stringent criteria.” Agrematch’s AI4AI framework trains its models to satisfy precise product specifications. It employs predictive algorithms to meticulously scan billions of molecules, curating a concise list of prospective candidates with anticipated features.
Dr. Elinor Erez, responsible for R&D at ICL Growing Solutions, articulated, “This synergy will center around the formulation of pioneering biostimulants to augment plant outcomes. It echoes our commitment to the ag-biologicals market, in sync with our prevailing agricultural endeavors and the prospective trajectory of our specialty crop nutrition portfolios. With ICL’s immense contribution, Agrematch stands to gain unparalleled insights into the global crop nutrition landscape, regulatory nuances, agronomy, and development, backed by top-tier R&D scientists and agronomists. After thoroughly assessing Agrematch’s tech proficiencies, our excitement is palpable as we gear up to introduce state-of-the-art ag-biological commodities globally.”
The ICL and Agrematch partnership is not merely a commercial collaboration; it represents the marriage of traditional agricultural expertise with cutting-edge AI technology. As we venture deeper into the 21st century, such partnerships herald the dawn of a new era in sustainable and efficient crop production solutions.
Image provided by ICL