Abu Dhabi: The ‘Level Up’ Project, an initiative co-operated by region’s premier not-for-profit economic development agency, Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (Khalifa Fund) has revealed the winners of the program’s first edition at its successful conclusion.
The Program which is a result of Khalifa Fund’s collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA), ADIO Catalyst and Wageningen University and Research, supports SMEs and Start-ups to scale and reach new operational milestones.
Ten shortlisted Agri-Tech companies went through 5 weeks of training and mentorship before making their final project pitches after which Circa BioTech, a food waste management solution, and CODE Three Fourteen Technologies, a company that helps increase agricultural yield, were chosen as deserving winners.
Circa BioTech and CODE Three Fourteen Technologies are Agri-Tech firms working to help solve some of the most pressing problems related to agriculture.
Circa Biotech aims to tackle the high volumes of organic waste in urban cities that are commonly disposed of directly at landfills. Instead of dumping this waste, Circa Biotech upcycles it into high-quality products using Black Soldier Fly Larvae. This results in the production of high-quality organic fertilizers, proteins, and lipids that can be utilised for aquaculture and livestock production and to enhance agricultural growth.
CODE Three Fourteen Technologies on the other hand, is an Emirati-driven Abu Dhabi-based Agri-Tech software company developing innovative drone autonomous technologies to increase crop yield, reduce the use of pesticides, and tackle the problems of dwindling food production and diminishing water resources amidst growing population numbers.
Mr. Haythem Riahi, CEO of Circa BioTech, stated that, “The post-pandemic world has brought forth an entirely new set of challenges and opportunities that many new companies are grappling with. Initiatives like Level-Up by Khalifa Fund are crucial to boost the local industry and encourage SMEs and startups in the country to keep innovating and pushing boundaries.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Mohammad Al Moosa, CEO of CODE Three Fourteen Technologies, observed that, “By 2050, the world’s rising temperatures will reduce crop yield by 2-4 percent while certain areas will lose crop production entirely. On the other hand, the earth’s growing population and its demand for food will increase considerably. A global effort today is required to tackle these issues and CODE is committed in being part of this global initiative.”
LEVEL UP PROGRAM
The Khalifa Fund-backed initiative is envisioned to operate in consecutive stages, each lasting from 2 to 4.5 months according to specialised sectors.
The format includes two months of learning and mentorship, a forum and demo day, and two meetup events. Apart from agriculture technology, other sectors to be covered in upcoming editions include finance, ICT, health services, biopharma, tourism and real estate.