Meet the 2021 Innovation Incubator Cohort: New West Genetics

For the third year, the Danforth Center is partnering with the Wells Fargo Foundation and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to participate in the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator, IN2. The 2021 cohort of companies will partner with our Principal Investigators to test and validate their technologies that will help make indoor agriculture more sustainable. Keep reading to learn more about New West Genetics. 

In the face of climate change and a growing population, the agriculture industry needs to sustainably produce more food than ever before. Hemp provides a new option for farmers. It requires less inputs like pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides than other commercial crops. Hemp also improves soil health through its deep root structures that remove toxins from the soil. New West Genetics, a member of the 2021 IN2 cohort, has combined genomic and traditional breeding expertise to create high performing, stable hemp seed that is adapted to U.S. production environments and requires half the water and Nitrogen inputs of corn.

Why is New West Genetics excited to be a part of the IN2 program?

Our company is thrilled that grant funders and collaborators within IN2 acknowledge and are excited about the potential of hemp – as a more sustainable source of materials for multiple markets: alternative proteins, healthy and unique lipids, fiber, and beneficial chemical compounds that contribute to greater health and wellness. New West Genetics also appreciates the collaboration with other companies in the cohort – we’re impressed with the quality and innovation, especially related to more sustainable practices, that our cohort companies are bringing to the agriculture space.

What impact will your technology have on the agriculture industry and consumers?

The work in collaboration with Danforth will enable growers to slash their costs, decrease their environmental footprint, and also create highly differentiated and unique products to stand out in the market. Our technology, in general, is accelerating the adoption of hemp by mainstream ingredient companies. We offer stable, repeatable traits and performance, as well as yields more than double that of average seed genetics on the market today.

Who are you collaborating with at the Danforth Center?

New West Genetics collaborates with Danforth Center Principal Investigator Christopher Topp, PhD, an expert on root systems and the characterization of such. Together, we are screening our massive pedigree database to identify root traits that will maximize sustainability in both indoor and outdoor environments. This will help us make better decisions as breeders. Building the data around the genetics controlling root systems in all crops, not just hemp, will help move the agriculture industry forward to make smarter decisions on carbon sequestration applications. New West Genetics is glad to contribute to that effort, and Danforth is the premium partner with which to do so.