St. Louis Leaders Build on Successful Strategies to Bridge AgTech Innovation Between Latin America and St. Louis

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A delegation of 10 St. Louis leaders is headed to São Paulo, Brazil for the World Agri-Tech South America Summit

St. Louis Leaders Build on Successful Strategies to Bridge Agtech Innovation Between Latin America and St. Louis.

Building on efforts to bridge innovation between the St. Louis region and Latin America, a delegation of 10 St. Louis leaders is headed to São Paulo, Brazil for the World Agri-Tech South America Summit to showcase the region’s strength in agtech and geospatial technologies. In recent years, St. Louis innovation ecosystem players have worked to significantly increase collaborative activities between St. Louis and Latin American agri-food tech stakeholders. These efforts have led to accelerated business development and growth, enhanced academic and educational programs, and strengthened ecosystem connectivity.

“We are heading into a second showing at World Agri-Tech South America with increased momentum and impressive milestones indicative of our region’s multi-year commitment to collaborating with startups and ecosystems in Latin America,” said Stephanie Regagnon, executive director of Innovation Partnerships at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. “Unlocking innovation in the Americas is key to moving the needle on global food security and climate change.”

“We are very excited to have the honor to welcome the St. Louis innovation team to Brazil for the second time and continue building connectivity across agrifood-tech ecosystems,” said Tomas Pena, managing partner, The Yield Lab Latam.

This delegation follows an initial participation of leaders from the Danforth Center, BioSTL, Missouri Partnership and World Trade Center in the 2023 World Agri-Tech South America Summit, Latin America’s premier agtech innovation showcase. Since 2023, St. Louis partners and Latin America counterparts have built significant momentum toward economic cooperation and impact, including:

  • Launch of the highly successful Cultivar STL initiative, by the Danforth Center, BioSTL, The Yield Lab Latam, 39 North, World Trade Center and Greater St. Louis Inc., that hosted 30 representatives from nine countries in Latin America to showcase business and partnership opportunities in St. Louis.
  • Bioheuris restarted their St. Louis operations that were shuttered during the pandemic and hired new staff.
  • established its U.S. headquarters at T-REX.
  • Seed Matriz signed a core facilities agreement with the Danforth Center and was awarded an Arch Grant.
  • Elytron signed a business development agreement with BioSTL to expand to the United States – from their headquarters in Argentina.
  • DeepAgro, was a finalist for BioSTL’s inaugural ReACH Summit and are initiating a field trial this summer in St. Louis to evaluate adaptation of their technology to a new region with different agronomic conditions.
  • Groupo RIA – a network of 14 large, Argentine farming companies that collaborate to adopt technology, improve sustainability, and validate innovations – is partnering with BioSTL and its grower/producer network to share lessons about accelerating adoption of innovation on the farm, including lessons from Groupo RIA’s testing of DeepAgro’s weed detection technology to inform field trial design in the U.S.
  • St. Louis hosted its first coordinated presence at the flagship World Agri-Tech Summit in San Francisco, CA in March 2024. Seven St. Louis startups, the Danforth Center, BioSTL, Greater St. Louis, Inc., 39 North, and Arch Grants carried the “Future of Agri-food Tech is STL MADE” flag showcasing St. Louis as a premier destination for agtech innovation, including hosting a breakout session, “St. Louis: Collaboration Matters When It Comes to Pioneering Sustainable Agtech Innovation.”
  • To build awareness of the region’s strength in ag geospatial, The Yield Lab Latam led an agtech+geospatial focused Cultivar delegation visit to St. Louis in April 2024 that included 24 delegates representing four Latin American countries.
    The second Cultivar Summit will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in August 2024 in conjunction with the Aapresid Congress and will include a visit to Rosario, Argentina, a St. Louis Sister City.

“Trust is the foundation of international collaboration, and this Cultivar initiative has quickly leveraged relationships to create mutual value – unlocking economic opportunity and global impact for food security,” said Chad Zimmerman, director of Agrifood Innovation, BioSTL.

“The swiftness of traction toward outcomes such as research partnerships, field trials, and company expansions in St. Louis, as well as lessons and opportunity unlocked in Latin America, has exceeded even our most promising plans.”

“St. Louis is a global destination for agtech innovation, investment and collaboration,” said Sean Mullins, director, Foreign Direct Investment of World Trade Center St. Louis. “I’m proud to be part of the team spending time in Latin America and building important relationships with companies seeking to collaborate, expand or invest in North America.”

To continue the impactful work to showcase the region as a global epicenter for agri-food tech and geospatial excellence, and strengthen relationships with agri-food tech partners as well as identify new opportunities for partnerships with stakeholders in Latin America, the St. Louis delegation will return to São Paulo on June 17 for World Agri-Tech South America. Additionally, to highlight St. Louis’ geospatial excellence and opportunities at the intersection of geospatial and ag, The Danforth Center, The Yield Lab Latam, and Parque de Inovação Tecnológica (PIT) are supporting an ecosystem visit to São José dos Campos’s growing geospatial ecosystem to participate in Agro do Futuro and Cultivar: Geospatial Deep Dive in Brazil Agribusiness.

Members of The Future of Agri-food Tech is STL Made delegation include:

  • Stephanie Regagnon, Executive Director Innovation Partnerships, Isabel Acevedo, Manager Community Innovation and Karla Roeber, Vice President Government and Public Affairs, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
  • Donn Rubin, Founding President and CEO, Chad Zimmerman, Agrifood Director and Dan Schultz, Director, Business Development, BioSTL
  • Nadine Alameh, PhD, Executive Director, Taylor Geospatial Institute (TGI)
  • Nick Reinke, CEO, Habiterre
  • Kevin Golinghorst, Geospatial Director, T-REX
  • Sean Mullins, Director, Foreign Direct Investment, World Trade Center
  • At the Summit, St. Louis will be featured on the main stage for a panel discussion, The Smart Farming Adoption Challenge: Increasing Yield and Efficiency Through Data and Machinery Integration, moderated by Alameh and featuring representatives from BASF, TIM, AGCO, John Deere and Earthdaily Agro. The delegation will host a breakout session, St. Louis: The Gateway to AgTech and Climate Innovation moderated by Regagnon featuring TGI and Argentine companies, Elytron and GROUPO RIA, who will share their experience of how to successfully bridge business opportunities between South and North America.

Media contacts

Danforth Plant Science Center: Karla Roeber, [email protected]

BioSTL: Amy Gwin, [email protected]