Inocucor Technologies Inc., the agriculture biotech company that produces sustainable biological accelerators for farmers, opened its new 10,000-square-foot corporate headquarters at 7220 Frederick-Banting in Technoparc Montreal.
Inocucor is a leading innovator and producer of bio-based products that improve crop yields, shorten growing periods and create healthier, more resilient soils for organic farmers, greenhouse growers and mainstream production farmers.
Its new facility was designed to be compliant with current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) for the food industry. It serves as the company’s headquarters, R & D and pilot production laboratories for its next-generation bio-stimulation products for production agriculture, which have attracted collaborators from both the private and academic sectors in Canada and the U.S.
Speaking at the company's official opening today, Inocucor's President and CEO Donald R. Marvin commented on the company's progress in the two years since it introduced Inocucor Garden Solution, which is OMRI Listed® for organic production, approved in 27 U.S. states and generating revenues from greenhouse growers and farmers in the Carolinas, Florida, Georgia and Virginia.
"The inauguration of this beautiful, state-of-the-art facility gives Inocucor a launching pad from which to develop and introduce first-in-class sustainable bio-stimulant and bio-protectant products that enable plants to grow more vigorously and increase their ability to fight disease," he said.
"Our plans and pipeline for new products are ambitious. But they're attainable, because our technology solution is unique in the agricultural biologicals sector. Its efficacy is being proven every day in farmers' fields, and in test labs and greenhouses at respected research institutions such as McGill University."
Inocucor's core technology was developed in 2007 by two Montreal scientists, Dr. Margaret Bywater–Ekegärd and Ananda Lynn Fitzsimmons, who believed that microbial, rather than chemical, solutions would be needed to help famers feed a growing world population. They use a proprietary fermentation process akin to winemaking to brew natural bacteria and yeasts into powerful growth stimulants for soil, seeds and plants.
"We are very pleased to have Inocucor Technologies among the companies prospering here in Saint-Laurent," announced Saint-Laurent Mayor Alan DeSousa. "Their work in developing sustainable biological products corresponds with a positive vision combining prosperity and respect for the environment which is in keeping with the values of Saint-Laurent's Administration. Moreover, with its 4600 companies and its four major industrial clusters, Saint-Laurent offers an environment that is conducive to business development, through its geographic location in the heart of the island of Montréal and its research and development vitality."
Inocucor has attracted two rounds of venture capital from Cycle Capital Management, a respected Canadian venture capital firm focused on the clean-tech sector. In early February, 2015, Inocucor closed an interim round of financing from Cycle Capital Management with participation from Desjardins-Innovatech, the venture capital unit of one of North America's leading financial institutions.
The company recently launched its Series B equity financing, on the order of $15 million, and expects its completion during the second half of 2015.
In the past six months, Inocucor has added nearly a dozen scientific, operations and sales professionals. Marvin estimates Inocucor will grow to 35 employees by early 2016. Inocucor has co-product development partnerships underway with Axter Agrosciences Inc., one of Canada's leading providers of foliar feeding crop solutions, and with McGill University's Department of Plant Sciences.
In Canada, Inocucor has a number of field trials underway to test its second-generation product with soybeans and corn. In the U.S. Southeast, it is managing nearly 100 ongoing field demonstrations for tomatoes, strawberries, watermelons, broccoli and other high-value produce. It has just begun to work with farmers in Iowa and Illinois to test its biologicals on more than 100 acres of corn and soybeans.
In its first two years of field trials for row crops at McGill University, Inocucor's second-generation bio-stimulant product for large-scale agriculture produced yield increases of at least 10 percent. In a 2014 trial with Packman Broccoli by Clemson University's Sustainable Agriculture Program, plants treated with Inocucor's Garden Solution, out-yielded untreated broccoli by 38 percent. Recent trials can be viewed at http://inocucor.com/science/field-studies
Internationally recognized McGill University plant scientist Donald L. Smith heads Inocucor's Scientific Advisory Board. The company has also attracted two North American agriculture luminaries to its board of directors: Jim Blome, President & CEO of Bayer CropScience L.P. and Head of Crop Protection for its North American region, and Dr. Ted Crosbie, one of the world's top figures in agronomic research and development who managed Monsanto's Global Plant Breeding and Global Wheat Breeding businesses from 1996 to 2014.