New startup Solis Agrosciences enters the market to make plant science innovation faster and simpler. With its proprietary Plant Pipeline as a Service (PPaaS), Solis creates transgenic and gene-edited plants reliably and resource-efficiently, delivering expertise and technology to startups in AgriFoodTech. Scientists will be able to utilize Solis' fee-for-service model to rapidly create and analyze their traits.
"Solis is launching an exciting and new model for R&D services to support the expanding AgriFoodTech startup ecosystem," said Robb Fraley, PhD., former CTO Monsanto Company, and 2013 World Food Prize Laureate. "Meeting global challenges in climate, food security, and sustainability requires new and improved crops. Solis will help scientists accelerate the discovery and commercialization of these important advances."
Carl Casale, Senior Partner at AgTech venture capital firm Ospraie Ag Science explains, "Startups face barriers such as high equipment costs and the need to develop capabilities and specialized talent across a wide range of research needs that are not necessarily core to their business. Being able to outsource this capacity, rather than building complex processes in-house, will help innovators test more new ideas, faster."
Solis was founded by BioGenerator, the startup arm of BioSTL, in collaboration with startup executives Martha Schlicher, Mary Fernandes, and David Smoller to fill a need for specialized research support. In addition to equity-based funding provided by BioGenerator Ventures, Solis has leveraged IN2 funding to build its operational capacities. The team has launched scientific operations at the BioGenerator@Helix Labs in St. Louis' 39 North Innovation District. Mary Fernandes, PhD., will serve as President of Solis, bringing 25 years of R&D expertise in AgTech and genomics at Bayer and Monsanto.
"We want to help scientists and startups by centralizing multiple, siloed, and expensive tools and processes into a single, convenient platform," said Fernandes. "We've closed on initial contracts, our core technical team is in place, and we are already expanding. St. Louis' thriving AgriFoodTech ecosystem is the ideal home for us."
The company plans to continually add new services and will expand beyond its core focus of soybean and corn to include additional plant species based on customer demand.
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