Innovation Birmingham participant, Crop Intellect, finding ways to turn air pollutants into plant feed

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Crop Intellect founder Dr Apostolos Papadopoulos
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Crop Intellect founder Dr Apostolos Papadopoulos

Innovation Birmingham's Cleantech for Acceleration programme aims to turn low carbon business plans to commercial successes

New research and development company, Crop Intellect, is busy developing a new technology that captures climate change-inducing air pollutants, by utilising photocatalysts and breaking them down into inert material that are essential for plant growth.

These photocatalysts are then embedded into a formula that is sprayed on plants, thus reducing the environmental impact of farming and increasing crop yield sustainably.

Growing the business with Innovation Birmingham's Acceleration Programme

Crop Intellect is currently being supported by Innovation Birmingham's Cleantech for Acceleration (CT4A) programme, which aims to turn low carbon business plans to commercial successes. They were accepted on to the programme last year following a competitive application and interview process.

As part of the programme, start-ups benefit from coaching by reputable experts with experience and connections in the field of energy and the environment.

Dr Apostolos Papadopoulos, founder of Crop Intellect, said: "After researching the Climate-KIC-funded Accelerator, we were impressed with the support and mentoring offered and were very pleased to be accepted on to such a prestigious programme.

"As well as bespoke one-to-one mentoring, start-ups also receive access to financial support, something which has enabled Crop Intellect to further progress towards commercialising the technology to a much higher standard.

"The funding provided by the programmes has aided us in sourcing external expertise to support the development and proof the concept. This specialised training by industry experts provided an excellent opportunity for us to dedicate time to refining our business plan, developing the technological concept and better understanding its commercial potential.

"The interaction and engagement with other likeminded entrepreneurs and start-ups businesses based on the programme also proved invaluable, by encouraging us to collaborate and share relevant connections and contacts."

Crop Intellect

With technologically advanced crop nutrition products in the fresh produce industry, Crop Intellect currently has a granted patent for the technology that increases chlorophyll, sugars and yield. They have also submitted patent that increases calcium uptake to increase shelf life and fruit uniformity.

Prior to starting his business, Dr Papadopoulos spent many years in academia, researching and extending the knowledge of soil sustainability and crop nutrition and for him, the ultimate goal is the development of bio-pesticides that are currently researched with promising results.

"I realised that converting the knowledge I'd acquired into intellectual property and applied research into products was more important than publishing such innovations. The aim of my business has always been to reduce the negative effects of farming to the environment combined with increasing yield."

Crop Intellect is now looking for investors and distributors to roll out the photocatalyst formula worldwide. 

The Cleantech for Acceleration (CT4A) programme is looking for a new batch of talent and is open to all start-ups that are less than two years old and have a product, service or innovation which is energy focussed; offering grants of up to €20,000 to successful start-up businesses accepted onto the programme.

Applications close Friday March 10. To apply, please visit www.ct4a.co.uk to download an application form or contact [email protected]

For additional information on the programme's funder, Climate-KIC, please visit www.climate-kic.org 

For more information on Innovation Birmingham, visit: www.innovationbham.com/

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