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Silicon Valley works to strengthen U.S.-China agritech cooperation
Silicon Valley works to strengthen U.S.-China agritech cooperation

Pleased to announce THRIVE’s strategic move into China, where the team will play an advisory role in the development of the Nanjing Modern Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Pilot Park. For THRIVE, the strategic engagement provides a opportunity to bring agtech startups into China to test, validate and scale in the massive hashtag agriculture market in the country.

SAN FRANCISCO, — Agriculture experts in Silicon Valley are working with their Chinese counterparts to further collaboration in agritech innovation between the United States and China.

The United States and China can collaborate with each other to tackle their common challenges in food and agriculture, such as farm labor shortages, scarce resources, and food security and safety, John Hartnett, an agritech expert in Silicon Valley, said Saturday.

Hartnett sees agritech innovation as the only solution to those challenges.

He visited Chinese cities of Beijing and Nanjing last month, where he met with government officials and leaders in agriculture.

“The meetings were very positive. They were very engaged and very focused on driving leadership in agtech,” said Hartnett, founder and CEO of SVG Partners, an investment, technology and advisory firm. “I was impressed with their work and initiative, and how quickly they are moving with this initiative.”

The initiative he referred to is the Nanjing Modern Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Pilot Park, the first national-level agricultural innovation zone in China.

Launched in July last year, the park consists of a scientific innovation center, an incubation center and a trading center. It is expected to be built into China’s “agricultural Silicon Valley” by 2025.

“This is a big move, a big investment,” said Hartnett. He has been appointed to the expert committee of the park. For the next three years, he will help with working out strategies and building a bridge between Silicon Valley and Nanjing, capital city of China’s Jiangsu Province.

Hartnett said his Chinese partners are interested in Silicon Valley’s ecosystem and the expertise to accelerate the startups that are engaged in improving agriculture and food chain.

MicroGen Biotech, a startup that joined his “Thrive” accelerator program in 2017, is an example for the type of company that is going to be successful in China, said Hartnett.

The company, which applies constructed functional microbiome technology to increase crop yield and health while protecting food safety, has a specific target market in China. It has established partnerships with several Chinese state-owned companies.

Hartnett noted that he sees “two-way opportunity” between the two sides. “We are interested in having access to China, where we can bring our startups solving some of the greatest challenges in agriculture,” he said.

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