Our Partnership with CGIAR

Deep Science Ventures joins forces with CGIAR’s Alliance Bioversity-CIAT to create ventures in Climate and Agritech

Deep Science Ventures and CGIAR’s Alliance of Bioversity International & CIAT (The Alliance) announce a strategic partnership to advance their mutual Agriculture, Health, Environmental, and Climate objectives, through the Venture Science Doctorate (VSD). The partnership offers Ph.D. candidates access to cutting-edge entrepreneurship and deep-tech training in the world’s most advanced agricultural research centers in 30 countries. 

The VSD is the world’s first “Venture Focused Ph.D. Programme”, designed to create a new type of “venture scientist”. The fully-funded 3-year initiative gives candidates academic and commercial freedom to develop novel core technologies in a customized, multi-institutional Ph.D. programme, with the goal of forming a new high-growth startup targeting critical societal outcomes. The programme recruits candidates from diverse backgrounds and provides training in high-tech entrepreneurship, alongside a living stipend, travel and research costs.

CGIAR’s engagement in the VSD Programme is spearheaded by the CGIAR Accelerate for Impact Platform (A4IP): a venture space leveraging innovative partnership models and CGIAR’s legacy of research and innovation to co-design, accelerate, and de-risk investments in science-based solutions for sustainable agriculture and climate action.

VSD candidates will tackle global food systems challenges such as enhanced nutrition and restoration of ecosystem services in CGIAR’s six major regions across Asia, Africa and Latin America. To train these visionary “Venture Scientists”, DSV is leveraging the capacities of CGIAR’s research centres’ along with that of 30+ university and corporate partners, including The University of Edinburgh, The James Hutton Institute, The Satellite Applications Catapult, The National Physical Laboratory and GlaxoSmithKline.

Juan Lucas Restrepo, Director General of the CGIAR Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT and CGIAR’s Global Director of Partnerships and Advocacy, emphasized the importance of the VSD's decentralised, innovative, and inclusive approach: “The VSD enables bright scientists and innovators to transform their potential into action, and set up ambitious science ventures that can help us address some of our greatest challenges, including climate change and food insecurity. At CGIAR and the Alliance, we are also looking at new ways of leveraging our legacy of research and innovation internally, to develop and deploy market-based solutions.”

Dr. Thane Campbell, Dean at Deep Science Ventures, Education explains: “DSV and CGIAR are reimagining a new pathway for solving our most complex climate and agricultural problems. We believe tomorrow’s graduates will stop hunger. We have designed an environment built for speed and scale where they can deliver synergistic NatureTech Earthshots, sustained by bold employment opportunities for the communities they call home. CGIAR is helping to create that environment, so that thousands of Venture Scientists can develop a Net Zero, Zero Hunger
economy in harmony with nature.”

VSD is venture & diversity-focused, aiming to develop cohorts that otherwise would not pursue a PhD or research-focused career: 50% ethnic minority groups; 50% women. Candidates from any country can apply, without a STEM undergraduate.