Growth is afoot for Wild Bioscience, who specialise in developing high-yielding, climate-resilient crop varieties.
Wild Bioscience’s name was born out of a belief that genetic solutions tested by nature over millions of years can be used to solve pressing challenges on the farm today, and that improving agricultural efficiency would in turn reduce farmland expansion to help protect these wild spaces.
The company’s mission is to develop “wild-enhanced” crop varieties that support bigger and more efficient harvests, blending molecular and computational biology to understand how evolution has already improved plant biology in wild species.
By pushing the boundaries of biology, the team aim to boost the yields of globally important crops such as soy, maize and wheat under increasingly challenging conditions driven by climate change.
CEO and co-founder Ross Hendron said, “We’re at an exciting time in our growth journey as we’re now getting crops into the field for the first time – asking growers what they think of our new solutions. Getting our product into field trials is as significant as a drug discovery company getting to clinical trials.
“We raised £12m in seed capital in 2021 and we’re planning a Series A funding round next year, which will be a trigger for yet more expansion. As an ambitious startup, we need to capitalise on these growth opportunities, but because of the very nature of developing and growing large crop plants, we need a lot of space in order to do this.
Wild Bioscience has extended its premises at Milton Park, in Oxford, by a further 5,000 sq ft, bringing its total footprint at the science, business and technology community to 9,000 sq ft.
The agritech company joined the Park in 2021 as a spinout from Oxford University and employs over 20 staff who will occupy its new, bespoke R&D labs and offices, with plans to double the team.
“It was challenging to find suitable lab space in Oxford but we were attracted to Milton Park due to its single ownership, creating a giant incubator with the flexibility for companies to grow. This, and the Park’s exceptional facilities, made it an ideal fit for our unconventional requirements that include a unique combination of laboratory and crop propagation capabilities,” said Ross.
Tom Booker, Commercial Manager at MEPC Milton Park, said: “It’s a pleasure to be able to accommodate Wild Bioscience’s growth plans. As the UK’s largest science, technology and business community under single ownership and through our innovative ten-day planning arrangement, we’re committed to creating a supportive ecosystem that enables occupiers to scale up quickly.
“We’re excited for Wild Bioscience to further benefit from this environment and look forward to supporting them by creating the bespoke space they need.”