GLOBAL COMPANIES are constantly developing or seeking breakthrough products. Several of them have in the past few months sought to partner The Trendlines Group in their endeavours.

An Israeli incubator, Trendlines, which listed on the Singapore Exchange in Nov 2015, appears to have a knack for identifying potentially big ideas out of the hundreds that it encounters every year.

Trendlines invests in and develops medical and agri start-ups (it has 47 under its wings currently), brings on board investors and helps take their products to market. 

Somewhat underappreciated by the market which currently accords it a value of S$112 million (share price: 22 cents), Trendlines has caught the interest of some big boys of business:

» B. Braun Melsungen: In March 2016, Braun, one of the world’s leading health care suppliers, with global sales of healthcare products of  €5.43 billion, 
signed a definitive collaboration agreement with Trendlines.

The agreement is for "
sharing information about market needs and developments, the potential establishment of jointly-owned accelerators and incubators, collaboration between Trendlines Labs (Trendlines' in-house innovation center) and B. Braun, and co-investment in selected portfolio companies of the Trendlines Group."

Braun had invested S$7.1 million as a cornerstone investor in Trendlines' IPO.

» "Large US listed medical device company": Also in  March 2016,Trendlines said it received an additional purchase order from a large US listed medical device company for Trendlines Labs to develop an innovative medical device for manufacture and marketing by the US company which has US$5 billion in annual sales.

» "Major multinational medical corporation (MMC)": Headquartered in Japan, the MMC signed a definitive collaboration framework agreement with Trendlines in February 2016.  

Trendlines and the MMC shall "mutually identify certain clinical opportunities in agreed fields"  and Trendlines Labs will develop innovative medical device products for manufacture and marketing by the MMC. 

 ♦ "Trendlines is a compelling partner for us"

The latest global company to partner Trendlines is Bayer of Germany (which employed around 119,000 people and had sales of EUR 42.2 billion in 2014). 

DrNitzaKardish1.16Dr Nitza Kardish, CEO of Trendlines Agtech since 2011, has a doctorate in biochemistry and physiology. Photo by Leong Chan TeikIt has agreed to invest US$10 million in a fund to be managed by The Trendlines Group in a joint search and development of innovative agricultural technologies.

Aside from cash, Bayer brings to the table decades of experience in agricultural science, innovation and regulatory affairs.

“Israel is a hotspot of innovation and Trendlines offers the right combination of regional know-how and technical experience to be a compelling partner for us,” said Adrian Percy, Head of Research & Development at Bayer’s division Crop Science. 

“The agricultural market is ripe for groundbreaking innovation and Trendlines, with its focus on developing startups and new technologies beyond a one-time investment, shares our commitment to supporting productive and sustainable agriculture.” 

Dr. Nitza Kardish, CEO of Trendlines Agtech, had this to say about the Bayer Trendlines Ag Innovation Fund: "It provides our companies with the professional and financial backing that they need for development and business growth and is another step in our ongoing work to build a burgeoning Israeli agtech ecosystem. The Fund provides a great opportunity for Israeli agtech entrepreneurs to fund their revolutionary ideas.” 

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