Wageningen, Netherlands-based Hudson River Biotechnology, an agricultural biotech company, announced that it has raised funding from Oost NL and the Spanish agro-innovation company Eurogenetic. 

Oost NL will be investing in the Gelderland Innovation and Energy Fund. 

The investment will enable the Dutch company to scale up commercially and further develop its technology. 

Ferdinand Los, CEO, says, “The investment will allow us to further scale up commercially on the one hand and work on new products and services on the other. Oost NL has supported us with their network and advice since the start of our company. And with Eurogenetic we gain an important strategic partner who can take us further internationally.” 

Hudson River Biotechnology: Enhancing functions of plants

Led by Ferdinand Los (CEO), Hudson River Biotechnology develops new crops for the seed breeding industry based on CRISPR technology.

Through molecular-level adjustments to the genetic code of crops, it is possible to modify plant properties with precision and efficiency. It can result in improvements in yield, higher nutritional content, or longer shelf life. 

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Recently, the European Parliament has agreed to relax the regulations for new genetic techniques such as CRISPR, which is a significant milestone for global acceptance. 

A clear distinction is made between, on the one hand, the long-standing GMO crops, which contain transgenic DNA (for example to combine with herbicides) that are still banned from the market, and on the other hand, the new CRISPR crops, which do not contain transgenic DNA. 

 “The fact that Europe is giving the green light is an important step for us,” explains Ferdinand Los, CEO and co-founder of Hudson River Biotechnology. “After several years of development, CRISPR has become a mature technology. It allows us to supply the plants we need for the future, in a safe and controlled manner.” 

Currently, the company employs 30 people. 

The company has strong connections with StartLife, Wageningen UR, Radboud University, and the University of Twente in the Food Valley region.

The investor

Oost NL is the regional development agency of the Eastern Netherlands. The firm invests in entrepreneurs in the east of the Netherlands.

The agency strengthens the regional economy on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and the provinces of Overijssel and Gelderland. Oost NL is active in top sectors like Food, Energy, Health, and Tech.

Wout Morrenhof, Food investment manager at Oost NL states, “To ensure sufficient sustainably produced food in the future, it is necessary to invest in new technologies. Hudson River Biotechnology is a scale-up that has been working on important innovations in plant improvements for years. With this investment, the company can develop further and thus contribute to long-term food security.” 

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