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Nicolas Kral (Phytoform Labs)

Nicolas Kral won a Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future Award in October 2017 for his business, Phytoform Labs.
Globally, the agricultural sector consumes about 70% of the planet's accessible freshwater1 and around 50% of the world's habitable land has already been converted to farming land.2 The agriculture sector contributes around 13% of global greenhouse gas emissions, making it the second largest emitter, after the energy sector.3
Phytoform Labs, a biotech start-up based in Salisbury, Wiltshire, uses innovative ‘gene editing’ technologies to reduce carbon emissions in the agriculture industry. It does this by engineering specific plant traits and characteristics and then breeding them into the plants, so that their cultivation becomes more efficient and less energy intensive. For example, plants that have traditionally only been grown outdoors – and therefore emitted more carbon emissions – may have their genes modified to allow them to be farmed more efficiently inside greenhouses.
As many commercial horticultural companies can’t afford their own R&D labs, Phytoform Labs offers an R&D service to improve these companies’ crops. “Some commercial horticulturists we have met have taken up to eight years to identify the specific plant traits they need to increase yield, and then a further four years to breed them into the plant. We aim to provide a service that will cut breeding time down to months, saving growers significant amounts of money,” explained Nicolas Kral, co-founder of Phytoforms Labs.
You can follow Phytoform Labs on Twitter and Facebook.

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