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UCAM, Ingenio and Beyond Seeds create the Agency for Agri-Food Innovation AINNOA

The initiative, the first of its kind in Spain, will put applied research and development at the personalised service of farmers to improve their competitiveness within the framework of sustainable agriculture, healthy food, environmental and rural conservation, food sovereignty and the efficiency of agricultural production.

Adolfo García, presidente de Fundación Ingenio, María Dolores García Mascarell, presidenta de la UCAM, y Francisco José Bermúdez, fundador de Beyond Seeds, firmando la constitución de AINNOA.
Adolfo García, presidente de Fundación Ingenio, María Dolores García Mascarell, presidenta de la UCAM, y Francisco José Bermúdez, fundador de Beyond Seeds, firmando la constitución de AINNOA.

UCAM, the Ingenio Foundation and Beyond Seeds Biotech Group have joined forces to create the Agri-Food Innovation Agency (AINNOA), an entity based in Murcia, but with nationwide scope and an international vocation, which will offer the agri-food sector a wide range of research lines that will lead to tailor-made technical-scientific solutions with high added value for its production processes.

The agreement was signed this morning by María Dolores García Mascarell, UCAM president; Adolfo García, president of Fundación Ingenio, and Francisco José Bermúdez, founder of Beyond Seeds. At the event, held in the University's Chapter House, the aim of the project was explained. Said aim is to promote competitive and innovative agriculture to become a national benchmark, promoting respect for the environment and making a positive contribution to climate change.

This marks the start of an unprecedented period of joint work between decisive entities in the Region of Murcia due to their social and economic influence: UCAM (internationally recognised for its educational excellence), the Ingenio Foundation (which represents the most advanced and technologically advanced agriculture at national and international level) and the Beyond Seeds group of plant biotechnology companies (which contributes with its scientific experience).

Innovation and prospects for Spanish agriculture

AINNOA will offer customised solutions to the needs of farmers, cooperatives and agri-food companies so that, through applied research and development, they can achieve greater competitiveness. Its services include work in development, research and innovation in integral solutions for varietal improvement, greater efficiency in integrated pest control, better early detection of pests, savings in production costs, water efficiency, soil improvement and optimisation of resources. 

The three partners are financing the initial project, but it is expected that the research dynamics will soon consolidate an Agency,  the first of its kind in Spain due to its vocation to serve producers, the environment and activity in the rural world. The Ingenio Foundation itself will be in charge of this, as it will put research groups from UCAM and Beyond Seeds to work with the needs of its associated producers. 

The eight lines of research will be: Agronomic Engineering (sustainable agriculture and food safety), Plant Biotechnology, Advanced Software Development, Biofunctionalisation of Fruit and Vegetable Produce, Nutrition and Food, CSR and Innovation, Soil, Water and Plant System (integrated approach towards innovation and improvement of practices in agriculture, natural resource management and environmental protection) and Agricultural Environment and Circular Economy. 

Part of the Agency's profits will be used for social purposes, thus consolidating the links of FI, UCAM and Beyond Seeds with their land, their people and their future.

About the project partners

UCAM will contribute with its UCAM HiTech Sport, Food and Health Innovation Hub. The UCAM HiTech facilities have a dozen research laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructures: pathological anatomy laboratory, physical chemical analysis laboratory, sensor chemistry laboratory, chromatography laboratory, spectrophotometry laboratory, cell culture laboratory, microbiology laboratory, 3D printing laboratory, electron microscopy room, hyperbaric chamber room and densitometry room.

Beyond Seeds provides technology-based companies that bring together professionals in agronomy, genetics, computer science, chemistry, robotics and economics. Experienced in agricultural research, it has five laboratories dedicated to plant biotechnology, microbiology, information technology and robotisation, as well as three hectares of greenhouse for field trials. They are actively involved in the Cellbitec Foundation, dedicated to research into cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. The Foundation has received awards in 2022 and 2023 for its scientific and charitable work.

The Ingenio Foundation was created in 2020 with the aim of promoting responsible, sustainable and innovative agriculture. It seeks to lead advances in science and technology to make food cultivation an environmental, economic and social driver at local, national and European level. It currently includes more than 40 cooperatives and agricultural companies in the Cartagena countryside, representing 85% of the farmers in the area. Its mission focuses on promoting advanced agricultural practices that respect the environment and boost the regional economy.