Through tech-focused subsidiaries like The Climate Corporation, Monsanto has increasingly touted the potential of applying geospatial technology to agriculture — looking to give farmers map-based tools with highly detailed information about their fields.
The Creve Coeur-based agribusiness company further illustrated its investment in the area Wednesday, when it awarded a $500,000 grant to T-Rex, the nonprofit business and technology incubator based at 911 Washington Avenue in downtown St. Louis.
The money will support the creation of a Geospatial Resource and Innovation Center to be housed at the T-Rex facility on Washington Avenue, according to a press release announcing the move.
The center’s goal will be to provide both training and workspace to startup companies focused on geospatial technology.
“Once completed, the Geospatial Resource and Innovation Center will enable us to develop space and resources for training, innovation and entrepreneurship that will have significant beneficial, long-term economic effects throughout the St. Louis region,” said a statement from T-Rex President and Executive Director Patricia Hagen, who added that the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s new St. Louis headquarters will also boost local demand for expertise within the field.
Monsanto, which finalized its sale to Germany’s Bayer last week, said it is similarly excited to “promote new geospatial job opportunities in St. Louis,” according to Al Mitchell, the president of the Monsanto Fund and vice president of community relations. In the coming weeks, the St. Louis region will become Bayer’s North American headquarters and the business will cease operating under the Monsanto name.
The move builds on previous connections Monsanto has forged with T-Rex-affiliated companies. In December, Monsanto announced a partnership with the geospatial software company Boundless, which is billed as “one of T-Rex’s largest tenants,” according to Thursday’s release.