Powering Agriculture January 2016 Newsletter

Published: Jan. 14, ,2016

About Powering Agriculture

Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development supports the development and deployment of clean energy innovations that increase agriculture productivity and stimulate low carbon economic growth in the agriculture sector of developing countries to help end extreme poverty and extreme hunger.

Feature Story: MOOC on Energy-Ag Nexus

This MOOC in cooperation with TH Köln - University of Applied Sciences. The 8-week course, which will run Feb. 1 – March 27, 2016, introduces challenges and solutions for sustainable energy use in the agriculture and food sector.

This MOOC will introduce participants to the Energy-Agriculture Nexus and approaches for sustainably providing energy throughout all stages of agricultural value chains. Challenges and solutions will be analyzed; concrete technologies will be examined focusing on their utility to promote access to clean energy. The course will familiarize participants with relevant external influences such as market conditions, politics, and financing schemes of “powering agricultural” projects. Learning materials, developed by well-known experts, will be available as offline reading materials, as well as videos, on a week-by-week basis and are accompanied by assignments that will require the application of the newly learned skills.

Participants will be awarded a personalized certificate issued by PAEGC and the TH Köln - University of Applied Sciences for continuous contribution to the course.

Innovators Acquire Skills in Strategizing and Pitching

On November 20, Powering Agriculture announced the 13 new finalists comprising the 2015 Innovator cohort. The announcement was made at the Powering Agriculture Innovator Showcase (PAIS), which featured pitches and exhibits from 23 Innovators, presentations by PAEGC Partners, and a keynote speech from Jehiel Oliver, CEO of Hello Tractor.

Collectively, the winning organizations will utilize $12.9 million in funding to commercialize clean energy technologies and innovative business models that will: (i) enhance agricultural yields/productivity; (ii) decrease post-harvest losses; (iii) improve farmer and agribusiness income generating opportunities and revenues; and (iv) increase energy efficiency within the operations of farms and agribusinesses.

Innovators at Showcase after pitching their clean energy solutions to prospective investors

Innovators at Showcase after pitching their clean energy solutions to prospective investors.

In the days leading up to the Showcase, representatives from 22 Innovators participated in the Powering Agriculture Xceleration (PAX) Program, presented by Venturewell and Investor’s Circle. Topics covered included strategy development, risk management, and gender integration. Venturewell will provide Innovators with ongoing support, including biz-tech services and market-partnership and investment facilitation.

Upcoming Conference

Powering Agriculture will have a booth at the National Council for Science and the Environment’s 16th National Conference and Global Forum: The Food-Energy-Water Nexus. The conference will be held January 19–21, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City.

Powering Agriculture’s Dr. Ryan Shelby will be participating in a World Café session, “Opportunities and Challenges for Integrated Food-Energy Systems.” The session will take place on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2:00–5:00 pm.

Funding Opportunity: Saving Lives at Birth Round 6

Saving Lives at Birth

Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development invites global problem solvers to answer the call for groundbreaking prevention and treatment approaches for pregnant women and newborns in poor, hard-to-reach communities around the time of childbirth.

Through their Broad Agency Announcement (BAA), Saving Lives at Birth is looking to fund innovators around the world in developing, testing, and transitioning to scale innovative approaches that address this critical challenge.

Stories from the Field: Innovators in Action

PAEGC Innovators University of Toronto, SimGas Tanzania, Claro Energy, and Village Infrastructure Angels were featured in a recent article on NPR's Goats and Soda.

An article from Grist highlighted the findings of PAEGC and UNFAO’s recent report: Opportunities for Agri-Food Chains to Become Energy Smart.

2015 Innovator SunCulture’s Solar-Powered Drip Irrigation for Smallholders was selected as Sustainia’s 2015 Food Finalist. SunCulture CEO Samir Ibrahim was one of three finalists to present at the Sustainia Awards Ceremony held in Paris during COP21.

Global News at the Nexus of Energy and Agriculture

Powering Agriculture is a contributor to several online exchange communities. The following are among them and may be of interest to innovators, investors, and other stakeholders:

Energypedia is a wiki-based platform for collaborative knowledge exchange on renewable energy and energy efficiency in developing countries. The powering agriculture portal aims to provide an overview of information related to clean energy technologies, as well as increased energy efficiency to enhance agricultural production and value.

AgTechXChange is the premier community for advancing agricultural technologies for smallholder farmers. Members of the community can share knowledge and experiences, ask questions, connect with others, and research potential funders.

The Global Innovation Exchange is a global online marketplace for innovations, funding, insights, resources, and conversations, allowing the world to work together to address humanity's greatest challenges. PAEGC is among the featured programs on the exchange.

Related News & Events: 
Jan. 24, 2017

Powering Ag's Annual Report. Breakthrough Energy Ventures fund announced. VIA finalist for Fire Awards. Samir Ibrahim on Forbes 30 under 30 list. Futurepump and SunCulture on Ashden Awards long list. Promethean Power in The Better India. Motivo began field testing. Futurepump in FarmBiz Africa.

Oct. 24, 2016

Powering Agriculture ‘Graduates’ First Innovators: Earth Institute at Columbia University, Rebound Technologies; Midterm Evaluations Published; Stories from the Field: ICU, UVG, SunCulture; Promethean Power Systems and Futurepump Reach Production Milestones; Innovators In the News; Upcoming Events.

Jul. 25, 2016

Features: Agriculture Innovation Investment Summit and the PAEGC Partner’s Meeting; Stories From the Field: Promethean in India, iDE in Nepal and Honduras, and UGARF in Uganda; Congratulations: SunCulture and SimGas; Innovator Webinars: VIA and Promethean; and Upcoming Events.

Apr. 18, 2016

Sustainable Energy MOOC a Success! Innovators in Action: African Bamboo, SunDanzer, Earth Institute at Columbia University, Rebound Technologies, Camco. Latest Innovator and Partner Videos! BMZ and GIZ Establish a Powering Agriculture Hub in Kenya. Upcoming Events.