A Galway-based company has been awarded €20,000 for its work on cutting methane from cattle.
GlasPort Bio has been named as the inaugural winner of the sustainability/low carbon award as part of the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor Readiness competition.
The environmental biotech start-up has been hailed as a “game changer” by judges for its technology focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.
Based at the Business Innovation Centre at NUI Galway, the company’s products include a feed additive to prevent belching of methane from livestock and a slurry additive to prevent methane emissions from stored slurry.
The aim is to create solutions that allow farmers to produce food in a more productive, profitable and sustainable way, according to GlasPort Bio CEO Dr Ruairi Friel.
Additives for farming
Dr Friel described the start-up’s “novel technology, which specifically targets the microorganisms which produce methane gas, whether this is in the rumen or in slurry”.
By preventing methane production and loss, Friel described how the feed additives also enhance animal performance through increased milk yield and faster weight gain.
The feed additive product, RumenGlas, is undergoing field studies with a planned launch between mid-2024 and early 2025.
GlasPort Bio is also currently testing GasAbate, the slurry additive product, with a small number of customers and it expects to launch the product commercially in late 2022 or early 2023.
Friel said that as well as reducing methane emissions, value is added through the slurry’s increased fertiliser value and enhanced renewable energy feedstock for anaerobic digestion.
He claimed that this allows for more productive farming and delivers cost savings to the farmer.
Congratulating GlasPort Bio on the company’s win, InterTradeIreland’s funding for growth manager Shane O’Hanlon said: “GlasPort Bio is an excellent example of a company developing game-changing solutions for the food and farming industry.”
Dr Friel described how the start-up is “passionate about farming and the environment” and that its “mission is to equip producers with solutions that ensure their businesses are profitable and sustainable for generations to come.
“The [€20,000] prize money will go towards expediting the market launch of our two innovative products and we are excited for what the future holds for us.”