Funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, IN2 provides each company up to $250,000 in technical assistance with the opportunity for follow-on funding and access to state-of-the-art expertise and resources from the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis. It is described as the world’s largest independent plant science institute and a facility where the teams will conduct their R&D.
We have followed the progress of Tony Bova, Jeff Beegle, and the company since its founding as Grow Bioplastics before the name change about two years ago. It is focused on creating naturally biodegradable and compostable materials that can replace controlled-release fertilizers for improved plant and soil health.
The other five participants on Cohort 7 are:
- AgroSpheres of Charlottesville, VA that is transforming crop protection with AgriCell, a powerful enabling technology for the efficient and improved use of synthetic chemicals and biologicals. AgriCell can mitigate the direct and indirect detriments of using chemical pesticides, with the goal to cut chemical pesticide use by at least 50 percent.
- Chi Botanic of Sarasota, FL that is industrializing plant cell cultures as a production platform by replicating genetically identical plants at a large scale. The Chi Botanic technology will help develop valuable natural products more efficiently and cost-effectively.
- EarthSense of Champaign, IL that is revolutionizing the way crop breeders and farmers collect and use impactful data. EarthSense employs machine learning and robotics in the field to increase yield, eliminate resistant superweeds and accelerate crop improvement.
- Pluton Biosciences of St. Louis that is supplying the agricultural industry with microbes specifically targeted against various pests. By using a micromining process, Pluton Biosciences can help offset biological resistance that has been building against current products.
- TerViva of Oakland, CA that is commercializing climate-resilient pongamia trees, a hardy legume tree that produces an annual crop of beans up to 10 times greater than soy for more than 25 years. TerViva is increasing the global supply of plant protein and vegetable oil while restoring degraded agricultural land.
Click here to read the news release issued late last week.