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Techstart funding helps MycoNourish boost crops

Peter Orrell, right, receiving his Higgs Award from Sir Tom Hunter

A spin-out business, which has developed a method for enhancing crop production, has raised £150,000 in a funding round led by Techstart Ventures.

MycoNourish hopes to launch its first two products this year to help growers boost the yield and quality of their crops.

The Dundee-based company believes these products will reduce waste in the strawberry and tomato sectors.

MycoNourish is a spin-out of the James Hutton Institute and its latest funding adds to a £125,000 Higgs Award from Scottish Edge last year.

The company was founded by Dr Peter Orrell and is partially owned by James Hutton.

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Dr Orrell said:  “The funding allows us to get to the point where we are able to have product ready to go on the market.

“So it’s allowed us to increase our team size; we have brought on additional scientists and technical members of staff, and that has really allowed us to do the core R&D that will lead to us releasing the product on the market.”

Once the new products have been launched in the latter part of the year, Orrell says his team will switch focus to other soft fruit, high-value veg, and later, potatoes, cereals and arable crops.

Dr Orrell said:  “We realised there was demand in the industry for improving soil biology, so we thought we’ve got a really strong scientific foundation and can make some improvements.”

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