Charleston, S.C., April 18, 2022 – To drive the impact of a circular economy, driven by cutting-edge research, financial equity, and cooperation, BrightMa Farms will break ground on The BrightMa Innovation Center (“The BIC”) in Orangeburg, S.C., on April 29, 2022. The center is the result of a new collaboration between two industrial hemp pioneers, BrightMa Farms and Puregene AG, to pave the way to greater diversity and sustainability on a global scale and creating a space where science, technology, community, and education truly combine to impact the realization of end-product application. Rooted in history, infused with rich culture and propelled by scientific discovery, with large-scale technological backing, The BIC (the name which signifies the venture led by BrightMa and supported by Puregene) is establishing a world where literally anything is possible.

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Puregene has been able to harness the power of the adaptive range of hemp. In fact, hemp`s ability to grow from the arctic circle to the tropics is simultaneously one of its biggest challenges and its biggest strength. To date, global breeding programs have only existed in a few small locations, and current elite varieties are not broadly adapted to multiple climate zones or latitudes. By testing genetically diverse material in diverse environments, Puregene can rapidly select and incorporate highly beneficial environmental response traits into future varieties. With genomic prediction, breeding is literally flipped on its head, as diverse material is tested directly where it will be produced by stakeholders. Ultimately, the realization of breeding advances in real time benefits both producers and stakeholders.

BrightMa Farms is working for the immediate benefit of minority farmers, and ultimately, the industry at large. The aim was to expand territories and bridge the gap for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) talent to be engaged with deliverable supply chains using industrial hemp. The unique positioning of HBCUs offers an opportunity to rapidly accelerate Black economic mobility. The support from BrightMa and the 1890 Research Extensions has increased the impact of the HBCU footprint substantially. In addition, the first-of-its-kind initiative of BrightMa and Puregene increases its scientific significance and magnifies its scope dramatically. Puregene, a Swiss company that performs genomic-based predictive breeding, are adding its extensive expertise and ground-breaking technological advancements to amplify the venture to new levels of realization, as it accelerates hemp applications by implementing its proper vertical integration strategy. Every stage of the production process is optimized, ensuring innovation is directly implemented in the market.

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In the envisioned pipeline, BrightMa Farms will deliver varieties to HBCU research and extensions for testing, trialing, and application R&D. Once the HBCU extension support has been obtained, BrightMa delivers to minority farmers. Raw materials from minority farmers are then delivered to Brightma Farms for processing. Then, the processed raw materials are delivered to strategic manufacturing solution partners that create novel products from hemp grain, fiber, and medicine. Final product development and market integration is supported by BrightMa Farms with strategic partners. In the end, every innovation that goes into every seed developed at The BIC has a market-driven solution.

Puregene is able to deliver on the key vision of high performance and industrial-ready hemp varieties. It is the genetics in the hemp seed that makes it ultimately superior. Puregene dominates this front, as it’s the company responsible for deciphering the DNA of Cannabis. The Puregene partnership offers the expertise, data, and technology that will be the foundation of the center’s advanced breeding platforms. This expertise will also be embedded in training and internships for students, bringing greater diversity to the industry, with cutting-edge technology at its core.