Agtech startup signs multi-million-dollar deal with Holland's SeedTech
Israel’s booming cannabis industry has recorded a significant achievement with the signing of the first of a kind genetics breeding deal. Israeli Agtech startup, RCK, which specialises in science-based cannabis genetics, signed an agreement with SeedTech, a Dutch seed company, for developing unique cannabis strains in the form of elite hybrid seeds.
The agreement will accelerate RCK’s planned growth with the expansion of its facilities for breeding activities and the hiring of new employees.
RCK has devised for SeedTech a dedicated breeding plan to develop unique cannabis strains for medical and commercial uses such as cosmetics and food. The deal is valued at several million dollars for breeding services, but its potential is greater, as RCK will receive royalties from the sale of seeds over all the duration of the patent life of each strain.
Eindhoven based SeedTech B.V. focuses on agricultural R&D, food production and life sciences and is one of the pioneers in the European cannabis sector. The Dutch company uses advanced technological methods for breeding to develop new uniform and stable cannabis strains that are suitable for specific market segments.
SeedTech cooperates with several of the most innovative companies in the industry and is aiming at taking a leading position in global breeding programs based on the specific integration of products and markets. The new genetic products developed by SeedTech will be marketed as raw material for professionally approved and licensed organisations.
RCK is developing technology for producing new strains of elite hybrid cannabis seeds that meet the highest standards required for various medical needs. The seeds developed by the company will enable global mass production of medical cannabis and the development of new medications to offer relief to millions of people around the world who suffer from a wide variety of medical conditions.
Dr. Noam Chehanovsky, Co-founder and VP for R&D at RCK, said: “The agreement with SeedTech is the byproduct of the pioneering scientific-technological way of thinking that we developed that is now fulfilling its commercial potential. In recent years we focused intensive efforts to crack the genetic makeup of the cannabis plant and we learned to control its chemical compounds. As a result, it is possible to rapidly and efficiently breed new strains that are precisely suitable for various medical or commercial needs and facilitate wide scale growing of high quality cannabis plants that meet medical standards.
Shay Bar-Joseph, Co-founder and VP for Business Development and Marketing at RCK, said: “Through this agreement we have launched the industrial revolution in the cultivation of cannabis from seeds - a market segment that will expand to billions of dollars annually. The Dutch company and its customers in various territories will be the first in the world to benefit from RCK’s unique science-based cannabis breeding capabilities.”
RCK’s hybrid seeds are a big step forward in comparison to the traditional methods of cloning cannabis plants. In the traditional approach, the production of clones and the allocation of land and manpower resources translate into extremely high cost of growing from clones in comparison to the cost of growing from seeds.
RCK, which is located in Kibbutz Ruhama in Israel, operates a lab, indoor growing rooms and 1,500 square meters of breeding greenhouse and commercial propagation facility. RCK’s genetics bank already includes tens of new strains and seeds developed at the company’s R&D facility, some of which are already marketed as medical cannabis in pharmacies throughout Israel.
New strains are under development on an ongoing basis. Cannabis growers from around the world have shown interest in purchasing the company’s new hybrid seeds and in breeding plans targeted at developing new strains for various uses.