Agtec Innovations Inc., which has offices in Los Altos, Calif., and Kolkata, India, has become a tenant in the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette, Ind. Agtec Innovations is a specialty fertilizer research company, and it is promoting its Smart Micronutrient technology for licensing to fertilizer manufacturers.

Smart Micronutrients are patented slow-release fertilizers based on designer molecules. Company CEO Murli Varadachari said these molecules “mimic the natural form of micronutrients in the soil.”

"These molecules also mirror the plant root-activated release of nutrients that allows for sustained nutrient availability," he said. "This has resulted in sharp increases in crop yields during extensive field trials."

During field trials, Agtec Innovations' fertilizers increased yield over the control group in cabbage, corn, peanut, potato, rice and soybean crops at one-fifth to one-tenth of the recommended dosage. The fertilizers have reportedly also shown yield increases over control group in growing black gram, green gram, red cabbage and red lentil crops.

"These fertilizers consist entirely of plant nutrients,” Varadachari said. “There are no pollutants or residues left behind when they are used, and they do not leach or drain away from soil," he further claimed. "We have found that they also slow the rate of soil degradation over time."

Pushing hard to promote the company’s products to establish manufacturer agreements, Varadachari  continued with what he claims as positives. "Because Smart Micronutrients are insoluble, they have numerous potential applications including combining them with nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (NPK) fertilizers and coating them on NPK fertilizers and seeds. Manufacturing them is a relatively simple process that requires easily available, low-cost starting materials."

Varadachari expects the Agtec Innovations' affiliation with Purdue Research Park will strengthen the company and help with its credibility.

"It is great to be associated with Purdue University, which is at the forefront of agricultural research. The affiliation also helps us to reach out to Purdue faculty who may be interested in testing and research," he said. "The facilities and support offered by the Purdue Research Park will be particularly useful for us to make Smart Micronutrients a commercial success."