Urban Crop Solutions has been named the fourth Most Innovative company in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa by Fast Company. The only indoor farming company to be named in this category, it stood out for the launch of PharmSpeeTM – a platform enabling the use of plants, instead of animal cells or synthetic materials, for the production of ingredients for the biopharmaceutical, life science, cosmetics, or feed industry. Aside from lowered production costs, the use of the PharmSpeeTM platform drastically reduces production cycles, and time-to-market.
As an end-to-end indoor farming solutions provider, Urban Crop Solutions has been investing heavily in their technology and growth solutions, as well as their research centre and Research & Innovation stream since their establishment in 2014. Aside from producing and supplying plant factories for commercial use or external research purposes, Urban Crop Solutions carries out both contract and in-house research at their very own research centre in Belgium. Through research carried out here, and observing demand from their biopharmaceutical customers, they launched their PharmSpeeTM platform.
PharmSpeeTM is essentially a platform whereby, plants that are grown inside a UCS growth chamber become – via the process of agroinfiltration in a closed and controlled environment – the carrier of the molecule for their intended end-application (i.e., plant-based vaccines, proteins, or growth factors, etc.). PharmSpeeTM combines a scientifically proven and validated method, with Urban Crop Solutions’ own plant science expertise and technology, to successfully replace a traditionally animal-based practice with plants. All the while drastically reducing the high production cost associated with using animal-based bioreactors, lowering production cycles from 6-12 weeks to 5-6 weeks, and therefore ultimate time-to-market in a more resource-efficient manner.
“Our entire company ethos is based on harnessing the power of plants. We have observed in recent years, more interest in plant-based solutions, most noticeably coming from the biotech sector. By providing clients a growing platform for the production of their applications, our experience and expertise in indoor vertical farming delivers a high value add” explains Dr Oscar Navarrete, Chief Science Officer at Urban Crop Solutions.
The World’s Most Innovative Companies is Fast Company’s signature franchise and one of its most highly anticipated editorials of the year. It provides a first-hand look at the inspiring and innovative efforts of companies across all sectors of the economy. Aside from an impressive ranking on the Fast Company’s prestigious list, Urban Crop Solutions has accumulated numerous awards and recognitions in recent years, and has been making frequent reappearances in distinguished annual sector rankings such as FoodTech 500, and the AgTech Breakthrough Awards.
“We’re thrilled to see our efforts paying off, and honoured to join the ranks of OpenAI, Microsoft, NASA, and numerous other new and innovative companies with this recognition. We have always believed that what we do is for a better tomorrow, and are happy to see that others believe it too” added Maarten Vandecruys, Founder & CTO of Urban Crop Solutions.