Ness Ziona and Moshav Sharona, Israel – 17 November, 2021 – NRGene (TASE: NRGN), an AI based genomic company operating in the agricultural industry, and Top Seeds International Ltd., a global seed company wholly owned by Mitsui & Co., Ltd., have signed a collaboration agreement to develop and commercialize new and improved cherry tomato varieties.
Based on the agreement, NRGene will lead the research by applying its AI technology to accelerate and improve the accuracy of the breeding process, while Top Seeds will take responsibility for product development, marketing and commercialization.
The tomato is widely considered to be the most extensively cultivated vegetable crop worldwide. Its global seed market was recently evaluated at over US$1.1 billion with a compound annual growth rate of 6% between 2021-2026. The cherry tomato segment alone will grow at a higher rate than other tomato varieties.
In past years, tomato growers had to face the challenges of ever-growing demand for top quality tomatoes, new plant diseases, and the repercussions related to natural climate extremes and those compounded by climate change. By joining forces, the two companies can better tackle these issues through the development of new and improved varieties.
“Top Seeds is constantly investing in the development and commercialization of vegetable varieties with improved traits so that farmers can better adapt to challenges and, as a consequence, customers can enjoy better tasting and healthier vegetables”, said Alon Lerner, the Innovation and Collaboration lead in Top Seeds. “Developing new varieties takes years and requires large investments. We are at the technological forefront to discover important traits, optimize breeding processes, and shorten the time to market of new varieties. This collaboration allows us to apply NRGene’s advanced solutions to our proven genetics, enabling both our companies to lead the seed industry.”
Top Seeds International Ltd., wholly owned by the Mitsui Group – one of the largest corporate groups in the world – is a global vegetable seed company specializing in research, production and marketing of innovative, high-quality hybrid varieties.
NRGene estimates the investment in this project at US$400,000, while its market potential in the targeted regions was estimated at US$25 million in 2020. Following successful completion of the project, NRGene will be entitled to royalties of 35-70% from the sales (net of production and distribution costs) of the improved seeds and varieties, based on their genetic content. The first revenues from this project are expected in 2025.
“We are pleased to join Top Seeds in this partnership as it fulfills NRGene’s strategic decision to deepen our involvement in variety development and our presence in the seed industry value chain”, said Dr. Gil Ronen, NRGene’s CEO and founder. “Successful completion of this project will contribute significantly to the growth of NRGene and serve as additional proof of our technology to improve development processes and shorten the time by up to 50%.”
NRGene develops and commercializes cutting-edge AI based genomic tools that are reshaping agriculture and livestock worldwide. Our cloud-based software solutions are designed to analyze big data generated by next generation sequencing technologies in an affordable, scalable and precise manner. By applying our vast proprietary databases and AI-based technologies, we provide leading international agriculture, seed and food companies with computational tools to optimize and accelerate their breeding programs. For more information visit www.nrgene.com
About Top Seeds International Ltd
Top Seeds International is a global vegetable seed company that specializes in research, production and marketing of innovative, high-quality hybrid varieties. Our aim is to guarantee excellent-tasting fruit and high yields by selecting varieties with genetic resistance to a wide range of diseases. Through continuous field research, our geneticists, agronomists and technicians select the best varieties in terms of resilience, yield and fruit quality, based on industry-leading germplasm and breeding supported by cutting-edge breeding technologies.
We work closely with our customers and all players in the chain to develop new varieties that meet all their needs and that contribute to a better world with healthier vegetables. We provide an ever-growing portfolio of varieties in the tomato, rootstock tomato, pepper, cucumber, eggplant categories.
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