Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Steven Weeks on Unsplash

Nature-inspired insecticides to protect biodiversity

Agriculture & Energy

The highly specific compounds repel certain insects while protecting bees and other pollinators

Spotted: The global population is expected to approach almost 10 billion by 2050, and this continued growth is already pressuring farmers to maximise production at every stage. With much of the world’s arable land already in use, efficiencies are needed – and importantly – in ways that protect the environment.  

The already intense squeeze on growers is exacerbated by extreme weather events such as droughts and floods, alongside increased levels of pesticide resistance in insects. One way to sidestep the chemical-based problem is to use greener insect-control agents, and Scotland-based Solasta Bio has created a patent-approved platform for bespoke eco-friendly insect treatments. Using peptides that affect a pest in a very specific manner, the company provides farmers with tailored insecticides. 

Because the new compounds are created to be so specific in their impact, and are made from naturally occurring amino acids, they are harmless to bees and other animals and plants, helping to maintain biodiversity. They also leave little to no residue on foodstuffs, offering an appealing alternative for consumers worried about trace chemicals.  

Having completed several successful trials, Solasta Bio is planning to bring its products to market by 2027.  

The company recently closed a pre-series A funding round that raised £4 million (approximately €4.5 million) that will help scale up its commercial operations and expand its market reach into a number of other countries.  

Biofungicides and gene-editing insect species that are harmful to crops are two other methods of sustainable pest control that Springwise has spotted recently.

Written By: Keely Khoury



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