Biotechnology at the service of sustainable agriculture: Biorizon biotech and the H2020 SABANA and BACAGRO projects

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The food industry, of undoubted global importance, is also at the forefront in technology development. As shown by Biorizon Biotech, which focuses its efforts on biotechnology.

The innovations of this Spanish company are particularly related to microorganisms (microalgae, bacteria and cyanobacteria), and always guided with the orientation to improve the agricultural exploitation.

For this reason, and with a view to strengthening the practice of intensive and ecological agriculture, the company bases its activities on the cultivation of microalgae. From them develops techniques and processes for the optimization of the means of planting and improvement of crops. With this base, Biorizon has been able to guarantee quality while using natural technologies that leave no residue in plants and fruits. Even, pointing much further, the company recently patented, Trietech, a technology output from their own laboratories.

Directing this way their investigations are managed to develop Biopower and Bioprotector ECO product lines. Not in vain, Trietech of Biorizon has shown efficacy to stimulate the growth of the fruits and speed up for the rooting of crops, as well as a superior resistance of crops to pests, basically, due to its Bioprotector effect.

Achieving these levels of growth in the agricultural technology market was made possible by the greater strength of Biorizon Biotech, which is to produce its own raw material. Therefore, cultivate and study 1,800 strains of bacteria, 2,000 strains of microalgae and cyanobacteria potentiated the incorporation of phyto hormones, polifenols, growth precursors, among others, to the supply of their products.

Microalgae and cyanobacteria for the development of biofertilizers

Ventures in this direction are remarkable for sustainable development around the entire planet. Especially in contexts in which food and its ways of cultivation can guarantee its innocuousness over the health of populations. That is, without doubt, also the reason why Biorizon Biotech is one of the partners of the H2020 European SABANA project (Sustentable Algae Biorefinery for Agriculture and Aquaculture), which sets out such ambitious objectives as the refining of microalgae on a large scale with sustainable processes, encompassing even the recovery of nutrients from wastewater. Consistently, it is part of the SABANA project to minimize energy consumption to obtain bioproducts capable of increasing crop yields and fish production, a priority in the European Union. Bioproducts for large-scale agricultural production from seawater, with zero waste is another of the challenges assumed by this project coordinated by the University of Almeria (Spain). 

Susana Díaz, Presindent of andalusia and spokesperson for the University of Almería, points out this initiative, the importance of this project regionally and globally:

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“The University of Almeria has greatly influenced the quality of this economic environment, and the quality and talent of our young people who have applied to the productive net, which has, at this moment, 133 research groups in projects such as SABANA that will allow to put on the market biopesticides, new biofertilizers that will place us in this competitive environment ”

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Even for the most skeptical, the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program contributes just over 80% of the financing for SABANA. More than 8 million euros invite us to have good expectations. Naturally, the potential of the project includes undeniable socioeconomic advantages due to the impact that the food industry has worldwide. In a couple of years, by the end of 2020, the Large Scale Refinery Demonstration Center should be in operation. From this feasible project it is only necessary to wait for a better knowledge of the operational characteristics of a system like the one proposed, with a real control of the environmental impacts and the potentials of use. But SABANA is not the only case of biotechnology project committed to the respect and protection of the environment in which Biorizon Biotech participates. BACAGRO, that supposes the cooperation of the public and private sectors in the area of ​​the Production of bacteria for agricultural uses, is another project in which, since 2015, this biotechnology company has found in its four objectives new areas of development:

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  • Selection and identification of beneficial bacteria for soils and plants
  • Development of scalable microbial productive processes that are competitive with their agricultural application 
  • Development of methods of preservation and application of said bacteria, guaranteeing their safety and efficacy
  • Evaluation of the effect on soils and plants after application of the product in its final phase. 

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All of them are linked to their particular Mission and Vision.

By the end of this year, the culmination of this project should increase the productivity of crops under plastic, by minimizing the diseases caused by fungi and other pathogens. It is expected that this Spanish initiative represents an advance in the production and use of bacteria and microalgae in agriculture.

However, the challenges do not end there, the icing on the cake was missing. Recently Biorizon Biotech entered as a full partner in the EUROPEAN ALGAE BIOMASS ASSOCIATION, a platform based in Brussels, where they meet experts in research and algae processing technology in Europe. In relation to this association, David Iglesias, CEO of Biorizon, said as contribution of the firm:

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“knowledge, experience and our market share. On the other hand, having the opportunity to work with them, discuss and develop future projects is invaluable. “

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David Iglesias (on the right), CEO of Biorizon

For the bioeconomy, it is very positive that these experiences take place in all industrial and productive areas. That sustainability becomes more than a goal, a common practice. That companies like Biorizon Biotech dedicated to the development, production and commercialization of biofertilizers can continue to grow effectively based on environmental care.

It is noteworthy that technological progress walks very well in the hand of concepts such as ecology and agricultural development. The one reviewed here is not an isolated case.

So is it not logical to expect that more and more enterprises, organizations and initiatives committed to sustainable development will be added? What if they are strengthened by alliances that strengthen and multiply the best practices and create economic, social and environmental value?

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David Valero
David Valero Torresano, fundador de Inspira Biotech. Graduado en Biología y máster en Oncología Farmacéutica, ha trabajado como Especialista de producto para una Multinacional Japonesa del sector Biomédico líder mundial en hematología, y ha desarrollado estancias y colaboraciones de investigación en diferentes Hospitales y Centros de Investigación de España. De marcado espíritu emprendedor y creativo ha participado en el programa YUZZ para jóvenes emprendedores presentándose con el proyecto Dreamalife, consistente en el desarrollo y la introducción en el mercado de nuevos sistemas de diagnóstico in vitro basados en la tecnología CRISPR-Cas9 para el desarrollo de la medicina personalizada. Contacta a través de: dvalero@inspirabiotech.com

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