Bionema part of innovative new partnership programme

Bionema have joined the Johnson Matthey Agritech Partnership Programme.

MediWales reports Cranfield University and Johnson Matthey have announced the first cohort of companies to join the Johnson Matthey Agritech Partnership Programme (JMAPP). The announcement follows a five week global search for companies and individuals who want to develop their innovative agritech solutions. The companies will be given an opportunity to develop their product or idea within an intense programme of collaboration and scientific and management support.

In an innovative partnership programme, created by Cranfield University and Johnson Matthey, more than thirty five companies entered a competitive pitch process to receive a package of advice, support and funding within a new three month programme. The overall support for the companies will be worth in excess of £50,000 each.

From a strong field, three emerging companies were chosen by experts from Cranfield University and Johnson Matthey:

  • Azotic Technologies, whose R&D Laboratories are in Nottingham, is developing a unique natural nitrogen fixing technology based on a symbiotic endophyte that could allow any crop variety to fix nitrogen directly from the air.
  • Bionema, a company based in Swansea University’s Institute of Life Science, is working on chemical-free pest management solutions and has devised a non-toxic bio-based microencapsulation technology.
  • Water&Soil, based in Budapest, has developed an organic soil enhancement product, which aims to improve water efficiency, whether saving on irrigation costs or enabling cropping in areas of marginal cultivation where water is scarce.

This cohort will enjoy the use of the world class research facilities located at Cranfield University, including those of the UK Government’s agritech centres, Agri-EPI and CHAP. The facilities have recently received £10m in investment. A broad package of support, including seminars, masterclasses, networking opportunities, and one to one mentoring, will also be on offer.

Johnson Matthey’s scientists and business experts will also work with the companies to develop their ideas to proof of concept. Johnson Matthey has a wealth of commercial and scientific expertise on offer, including research and prototyping, scaling lab work, full commercial propositions, managing supply chains, and regulatory support.

Kristin Rickert, Innovation Director at Johnson Matthey, said “We’re really looking forward to the next few months at Cranfield. Johnson Matthey is committed to collaboration as part of our open innovation approach. Our ultimate goal is to help develop fresh ideas into sustainable new products and technologies. This new programme supports that perfectly and these are great ideas to work on together.”

Professor Leon A Terry, Director of Environment and Agrifood at Cranfield University, said “This is an exciting time for innovation in agritech, as demonstrated by the volume, global breadth and strength of the applicants to the programme. One of the greatest challenges for the sector is creating an environment where ideas and innovations can become reality. By combining the scientific and business expertise of Cranfield and Johnson Matthey, we are giving our first cohort the best possible chance to succeed by bringing forward their innovations to market.”

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