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A German start-up offers a biotechnological tool-box for an environmentally friendly agriculture. It is able to characterize the effect of bioactive substances/biostimulants on crop plants. It is evaluating plant defense response after simulated pathogen attack and growth parameters, e.g. fresh weight/fruit yield . It can be used to screen for interesting new biostimulants products. Plant breeder/biostimulant manufacturers are sought for research cooperation.
The cultivable/arable land per person decreases fast and the so-called use-pressure on these areas continue to increase massively as a consequence of the growing world population, resource-intensive consumption patterns and drastic environmental changes. In a nutshell, a growing world population needs more food, more renewable raw materials and more energy. Accordingly, the development of new biotechnological methods to increase the efficiency of agriculture by understanding and examine the effect of environmental friendly plant treatments plays a crucial role in modern life sciences.
A German start-up supports companies, e.g. biostimulant manufacturers in their development of new bioactive plant treatments. They develop biotechnological tools to characterize the effect of biological active substances on crop- and ornamental plant development. Via fast biotechnological plant-based bioassays they evaluate the effect of plant treatments on the development of both dicot and monocot model plants and crops – from seedling to adult plant.
Furthermore, the German start-up company can determine the differential effect of client's plant treatment on different plant varieties or different plant species.
Within their tool-box they quickly screen for new interesting substances in general or optimal application conditions or product formulations for client's treatment. It potentially accelerates the market entry of new products. This helps especially within early stage product development. After screening, only the best or most promising substances have to be tested within long lasting field trials.
One of their most powerful tools is to characterize the effect of bioactive substances/biostimulants on the plant's defense system. Within their unique leaves-based method they use a chemical reaction to quantify the defense response due to mimicked plant-pathogen attack. Biostimulant treatment can activate the plant defense system resulting in changes of specific measured plant defense signature.
In addition, they offer to determine how clients´ plant treatment effects the germination rate, biomass production – fresh, dry weight, fruit yield, green area – and root system architecture of treated plants.
They also support industrial clients with their expertise and customize their assays to meet their client's needs. Therefore, they constantly improve their established tool setups and develop new procedures.
They mainly look for industrial partners, e.g. plant breeders or manufacturers of biostimulants for research cooperation. Companies without an own (big) research and development department could be possible partners. Besides, offering their tool box as classical service, extensive research projects with associated joint funding proposal could be addressed.
Furthermore, they are always interested in new innovations and meeting other green biotechnology start-up companies.
- Biotechnological tool quickly gives an idea of how treatment effects either plant growth or stress tolerance (abiotic and/or biotic).
- It can be performed within few days and helps to identify interesting candidates for further studies, new projects.
- It helps to save time and money because it potentially accelerates the market entry of new products. This helps especially within early stage product development.
- The efficient and fast-paced tool-box facilitates the evaluation of effects of manifold bioactive plant treatments like, for instance, biostimulants on crops.
- The flexibility of their tool system enables them to work equally with dicot and monocot plants and varieties at any developmental stage.
- Based on the client's question or hypothesis a individual experimental tool-box can be designed.
- Their core technology was obtained from cutting-edge university research.
- Within the new EU fertilizer regulation, biostimulants will be introduced as own category between plant protective compounds and classic fertilizers. The new standardized regulation will give manufacturers more security in production leading to heat up of the market-place. The acceleration of biostimulant product development giving companies time- and cost-advantages on the heated up market place of biostimulants.
In 2019, the start-up company received its first big client order. Before, the company was funded by an EXIST scholarship and a federal ministry for education research project. The basic tool-box including leaf-based bioassay as well as characterizing growth parameters of treated crop plants is offered as service on the market-place.
MVP (minimum viable product) already on the market
PCT patent application
They mainly look for industrial partners, e.g. plant breeders or manufacturers of biostimulants for research cooperation. Companies without an own (big) research and development department could be possible project partners. Big companies could function as potential investors.
Potential research partners are asked to
- provide interesting bioactive substances for potential biostimulant product development or/and
- provide new crop varieties or/and
- ask for/set innovative, interesting applied-research question or hypothesis or/and
- provide already existing funding, the start-up can participate as subcontractor
In return, the start-up provides their tool-box to characterize substances and varieties or their expertise addressing potential new applied research questions and hypothesis.
In addition, other research fundings are searched by the company implementing new tools – based on gene expression and phytohormone analysis into service portfolio.
Furthermore, the company is always interested in new innovations and other interesting biotech start-up companies.