Edison Agrosciences, Changing the World by Offering Plant-based Industrial Materials

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David smelling sunflowers

David Woodburn, CEO at Edison Agrosciences (photo courtesy of Edison Agrosciences)

Edison Agrosciences is making a difference right here in St. Louis with their innovative plant-based solutions. The business is an agricultural biotechnology company dedicated to developing and commercializing innovative solutions for the production of plant-based industrial materials, with a primary focus on the development of alternative rubber crops.

The founders of Edison chose not to work on plants that produce the most rubber, but those that have the most potential. “Matt Crisp (now CEO of Benson Hill) and Tom Hohn are the founders and saw that the world’s supply of natural rubber was at risk,” said David Woodburn, CEO of Edison Agrosciences. “Ninety percent of this $30 billion global market is supplied from one geographic area and all of it from just a single plant species. They searched for easily cultivated crops that also produce some level of natural rubber and sunflower was on top of that list.”

Edison Agrosciences has also worked with BioGenerator. BioGenerator is an evergreen investor that creates, grows and invest in promising companies and entrepreneurs in the St. Louis region. “I became an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at BioGenerator, assisting some of their portfolio companies with business development and assessed the prospects of new companies and technologies,” said Woodburn. “Edison Agrosciences was one of those portfolio companies and initially the support from BioGenerator was mostly financial and we recently moved into a shared lab space at the Helix Business Incubator.”

Sunflower rubber

First rubber sunflower sample at Edison Agrosciences (Photo courtesy of Edison Agrosciences)

Woodburn also reflected on the companies latest accomplishments. “From a team standpoint we have hired a skilled plant scientist to implement our sunflower rubber designs,” said David. “We have been seeing our technology grow in multiple generations of sunflower and obtaining what is probably the world’s first sample sheet of sunflower rubber. We have also signed a $1 million research contract with the Department of Defense.”

David also expressed that the world’s supply of natural rubber is at risk. “Every single day we rely on natural rubber in thousands of products because it can’t be matched with synthetic materials,” said Woodburn. “We are simply increasing the amount of natural rubber already produced by the sunflower plant, creating a profitable crop for farmers and a reliable domestic supply of a critical resource.”

As Edison Agrosciences continues to grow, future plans are also underway. “Our plans for the next few years include increasing the amount of rubber produced by sunflower plants,” said Woodburn. “This work will continue in the greenhouse and also in field trials.”

For more information about Edison Agrosciences visit their website here.