A Fort Collins, Colorado hemp seed genomics company is among the five firms selected to participate in the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) for indoor agriculture. The Wells Fargo Foundation funds the IN2 program, which is co-administered by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
New West Genetics, founded in 2014, focuses on genomics-assisted breeding for the hemp industry and will receive up to $250,000 in funding and will conduct research and development at NREL and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, Missouri, Wells Fargo said in press release.
Trish Cozart, IN2 program manager at NREL, said that while “indoor agriculture provides several environmental and operational benefits” the “processes typically produce more greenhouse gas emissions than field-grown systems.”
“It’s critical to make indoor agriculture more sustainable, as land degradation and water shortages threaten the agriculture industry’s ability to feed a growing population. The companies in IN2’s ninth cohort are addressing this problem through innovative technologies.”—Cozart in a statement
Last year, New West signed an exclusive agreement with Alberta-based Tritium 3H Inc. for distribution of its Certified NWG2730 Abound hemp seed in Canada. The company indicated it had spent seven years developing the seed.
New West Genetics CEO Wendy Mosher said in a press release that the company had partnered with the Canadian firm for two years and completed field trials to evaluate the company’s performance in Canada.
The selection of New West marks the first time the IN2 program has accepted a hemp company among its cohort.
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