January 10, 2015 

St. Louis, MO, and Research Triangle Park, NC – January 10, 2015 – Today Edison Agrosciences, an agricultural biotechnology company, announced that it has been awarded a Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The purpose of the STTR grant program is to translate promising discoveries from academic and other research labs to the private sector, ultimately enabling these innovations to reach the market and to benefit society. The grant award will fund a collaborative project at Edison Agrosciences and its partner institution to improve the efficiency of plant transformation and reduce the cost for developing crop varieties with increased productivity.

The United States and other industrial countries are dependent on natural rubber imported largely from Southeast Asia. Research has shown that sunflower, a crop which naturally produces rubber, has the potential to serve as an alternative source of this important industrial material. Significant research and development efforts including improvements in transformation efficiency are required for the commercialization of a sunflower rubber crop. The NSF STTR program is focused on high potential research with an emphasis on commercialization potential. Funds from this program will allow Edison Agrosciences, in conjunction with its academic partner for this project, to conduct research and development that will speed the deployment of a sunflower rubber crop in the United States.

“We are pleased that NSF has selected this project to fund through its STTR program,” said Thomas Christensen, CEO of Edison Agrosciences. “Edison Agrosciences is developing technologies designed to increase the production of plant-based industrial materials, with a primary focus on natural rubber production in sunflower. The potential for increasing crop yields through improvements in transformation efficiency is immense, and the $225,000 from this award will help us and our partners further develop technologies to make this a reality.”

About Edison Agrosciences

Edison Agrosciences is an agricultural biotechnology company dedicated to developing and commercializing innovative solutions for the production of plant-based industrial materials, with a primary focus on the development of alternative rubber crops. We are engineering yield improvements and the novel production of industrial materials in suitable plant systems. Edison employs multiple technical strategies using a systems-based approach and is developing strategic partnerships to mitigate the risk of pilot scale crop and product validation.


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