A fresh coat of paint: Biovento’s search for algae inhibitors
Biovento is a biotechnology start-up based in Gdańsk, Poland. Founded in 2014 by scientist and entrepreneur Natalia Kujawska, the company provides biotechnological research as a service to other companies. Its versatile profile has brought it into contact with sectors as diverse as the cosmetics, pharmaceutical and maritime industries. The company’s mission is the development and implementation of innovative technologies. Biovento's Research & Development department continually deepens its knowledge of biology, biotechnology and technological processes. This has a crucial impact on improving its evolving capabilities and results. Not only the final result, but also the production process itself is a focal point of this innovative approach. Sustainability is one of Biovento’s key values and its experts create systems that minimise the impact of production on the environment by reducing waste and promoting the most efficient use of resources.
Biovento has a collection of heterogeneous samples sourced from the Baltic Sea. Collected from aboard ships in the Baltic, the samples contain microalgae along with other organisms such as fungi and bacteria. Biovento’s research interest is to study the substances that inhibit the growth of microalgae. This topic is of particular relevance to various actors in the maritime sector, where anti-fouling agents such as microalgae inhibitors have many industrial applications.
The next step in the process is to complete a full taxonomy of the samples – to determine their exact make-up and the properties of each species contained in a sample and thereby identifying those substances that can inhibit the growth of microalgae. To take its idea for product development to the next stage, Biovento therefore needs a partner with expertise in natural product chemistry and bioactivity testing. Only once the exact properties and bioactivity of the microalgae are known, will Biovento and its collaborators be able to determine an exact application field. The company is therefore sending some of the samples to ALLIANCE partners with more extensive facilities for further testing, whilst continuing to work with the samples in its own laboratories. In the future, Biovento hopes to make use of the inhibiting substances discovered, and is planning research into a method of adding the substances to paints used in the maritime industry.
Within the ALLIANCE, Biovento is teaming up with experts in natural product chemistry. These range from a fellow blue biotechnology business to a major research institution and a business consultancy in the field (the primary mentor is Pomeranian Special Economic Zone and the secondary mentor is BioCon Valley). They will be helping Biovento develop an extraction method for the qualitative and quantitative study of their microalgae and growth inhibitors. The ALLIANCE will also be focusing their efforts on helping the Biovento case in market research and product development. Assistance with the legal aspects of product development, such as Intellectual Property Rights, is also available to the start-up. With the dynamic team in Gdańsk and the collective expertise of the ALLIANCE partners, Biovento’s search for microalgae growth inhibitors is set to become a blue biotechnology success story!
As a start-up, Biovento is benefiting from the broad range of expertise and services on offer within the Alliance.”