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domesticate pollinating flies

THROUGH VENTURE.

The “Insect Apocalypse” is known to many (even in protected areas, pollinating insect populations have decreased by 75% in the last 27 years), but its impact on agriculture is easily overlooked. As more than 70% of human food is pollinator-dependent, the ongoing decline in populations of beneficial pollinating insects now compromises the food security of the entire planet.

The amount of land dedicated to growing crops dependent on pollination has increased by 300% in the last 50 years. The uncontrolled increase in industrialized agriculture has not been met with a plan to increase – or even maintain – pollinator species. As a result, yields are dropping, and a critical tool in increasing it beyond current levels of productivity remains underutilised – the beneficial pollinator insect. The market for restoring these organisms, and conducting important ecosystem and agricultural services, will only continue to grow as biodiversity loss and climate change accelerate the decline in natural populations, or otherwise shift important species ranges.

While Honey Bees have been used to support pollination of many crops, the most affected crops often require a specific pollinator, which performs the pollinating task much better than the Honey Bee. Such crops are often grown outside of the range of traditional pollinator insect species, which raises the opportunity of breeding and training native pollinator species to do the job. Native flies and related species show great potential for conducting pollinator tasks on these crops, increasing yields, and benefiting local plant species as well.

 

Read more about how we see this Opportunity Area fit into our larger Agriculture thesis.

 

 

APPROACHES WE’RE CONSIDERING

We are designing strategies that allow us to maximise benefits to farmers and ecosystems by domesticating and breeding new pollinator species. We are considering the following approaches:

● Development of insect cultivation strategies for their mass release in the field

● Controlled cultivation of insects with pollinating qualities of the Dipteran order

● Techniques for the mass cultivation of insects in situ

● Technological strategy for transportation and manufacturing of scalable insect farms

● Supplementary diets to control [or suppress] the sexual development of pollinators

● Supplementary diets for insect training

● Supplementary diets to control the Male / Female ratio in egg laying

● Identification of, and targeted molecular breeding to enhance, genetic targets for controlled breeding and improvement in arthropods

● Technology associated with the use of materials for transport, release and monitoring of captured insects

● Development of yield improvement through specific pollinators for extensive crops such as Cacao, Avocado and Oilpalm

 

WHO SHOULD APPLY

We’re after people who genuinely care about the decline of insects and want to develop new commercially-driven project/s aimed at increasing the survival of pollinators and the persistence of their ecological function under increasing pressure from humans.

You’ll have background in any two (or more) of the following areas:

● Entomology / entomologist experience

● Knowledge in mass cultivation of insects or insect farming

● Knowledge of insect sterilisation techniques (including Sterile Insect Technique)

● Beekeeping, insect husbandry, arthropod rearing and reproductive biology

● Biotechnology and genomics of invertebrates

● Insect nutrition and evaluation of forage activity

● Knowledge of the characteristics of cocoa, avocado, oil palm

● Integrated crop pollination, plant-pollinator interactions, agronomy or reproductive biology of plants

● Molecular biology related to insect breeding procedures

● Arthropod and insect diet design

 

OUR OFFER

Taking a Founder role at DSV is a fantastic opportunity to develop concepts for, and launch your own startup. Working with us, you’ll have access to the systems and environment to guide your thinking. We’ll provide you with a salary whilst you start your own company, and moreover, will support you build a founding team, find early data to land your first customers and to secure investors.

It’s a full time role working across market analysis, science and venture creation at DSV before incorporating your own start-up within roughly 6 months with pre-seed investment from DSV and access to labs through our partnership with the Roslin Innovation Centre at the University of Edinburgh.

Compared to other “Entrepreneur in Residence”- type programmes, DSV is friendly to individuals with no previous founder experience and joining DSV comes with a commitment from us to support your company to make a real impact in the market. No prior idea or IP required.

 

The role is part of the Food & Agriculture Science Transformer (FAST) programme conducted between Deep Science Ventures and the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh, meaning that you can be based remotely, in London, or Edinburgh, where you will have access to a world-leading agricultural, financial and technical ecosystem.  

The “Insect Apocalypse” is known to many (even in protected areas, pollinating insect populations have decreased by 75% in the last 27 years), but its impact on agriculture is easily overlooked. As more than 70% of human food is pollinator-dependent, the ongoing decline in populations of beneficial pollinating insects now compromises the food security of the entire planet.

The amount of land dedicated to growing crops dependent on pollination has increased by 300% in the last 50 years. The uncontrolled increase in industrialized agriculture has not been met with a plan to increase – or even maintain – pollinator species. As a result, yields are dropping, and a critical tool in increasing it beyond current levels of productivity remains underutilised – the beneficial pollinator insect. The market for restoring these organisms, and conducting important ecosystem and agricultural services, will only continue to grow as biodiversity loss and climate change accelerate the decline in natural populations, or otherwise shift important species ranges.

While Honey Bees have been used to support pollination of many crops, the most affected crops often require a specific pollinator, which performs the pollinating task much better than the Honey Bee. Such crops are often grown outside of the range of traditional pollinator insect species, which raises the opportunity of breeding and training native pollinator species to do the job. Native flies and related species show great potential for conducting pollinator tasks on these crops, increasing yields, and benefiting local plant species as well.

 

Read more about how we see this Opportunity Area fit into our larger Agriculture thesis.

 

 

APPROACHES WE’RE CONSIDERING

We are designing strategies that allow us to maximise benefits to farmers and ecosystems by domesticating and breeding new pollinator species. We are considering the following approaches:

● Development of insect cultivation strategies for their mass release in the field

● Controlled cultivation of insects with pollinating qualities of the Dipteran order

● Techniques for the mass cultivation of insects in situ

● Technological strategy for transportation and manufacturing of scalable insect farms

● Supplementary diets to control [or suppress] the sexual development of pollinators

● Supplementary diets for insect training

● Supplementary diets to control the Male / Female ratio in egg laying

● Identification of, and targeted molecular breeding to enhance, genetic targets for controlled breeding and improvement in arthropods

● Technology associated with the use of materials for transport, release and monitoring of captured insects

● Development of yield improvement through specific pollinators for extensive crops such as Cacao, Avocado and Oilpalm

 

WHO SHOULD APPLY

We’re after people who genuinely care about the decline of insects and want to develop new commercially-driven project/s aimed at increasing the survival of pollinators and the persistence of their ecological function under increasing pressure from humans.

You’ll have background in any two (or more) of the following areas:

● Entomology / entomologist experience

● Knowledge in mass cultivation of insects or insect farming

● Knowledge of insect sterilisation techniques (including Sterile Insect Technique)

● Beekeeping, insect husbandry, arthropod rearing and reproductive biology

● Biotechnology and genomics of invertebrates

● Insect nutrition and evaluation of forage activity

● Knowledge of the characteristics of cocoa, avocado, oil palm

● Integrated crop pollination, plant-pollinator interactions, agronomy or reproductive biology of plants

● Molecular biology related to insect breeding procedures

● Arthropod and insect diet design

 

OUR OFFER

Taking a Founder role at DSV is a fantastic opportunity to develop concepts for, and launch your own startup. Working with us, you’ll have access to the systems and environment to guide your thinking. We’ll provide you with a salary whilst you start your own company, and moreover, will support you build a founding team, find early data to land your first customers and to secure investors.

It’s a full time role working across market analysis, science and venture creation at DSV before incorporating your own start-up within roughly 6 months with pre-seed investment from DSV and access to labs through our partnership with the Roslin Innovation Centre at the University of Edinburgh.

Compared to other “Entrepreneur in Residence”- type programmes, DSV is friendly to individuals with no previous founder experience and joining DSV comes with a commitment from us to support your company to make a real impact in the market. No prior idea or IP required.

 

The role is part of the Food & Agriculture Science Transformer (FAST) programme conducted between Deep Science Ventures and the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh, meaning that you can be based remotely, in London, or Edinburgh, where you will have access to a world-leading agricultural, financial and technical ecosystem.  

Interviews ongoing, start date asap

Interviews ongoing, start date asap

current founders

Daniel: background in biotech and food tech, experienced in project design and execution with excellent leadership abilities having built and led multidisciplinary teams for over six years prior to joining DSV. Now working on novel approaches for in vitro cultivation of pollinators, optimisation of entomophilic pollination processes and construction of synthetic biology systems for the development of pollination bio-controllers.

current founders

Daniel: background in biotech and food tech, experienced in project design and execution with excellent leadership abilities having built and led multidisciplinary teams for over six years prior to joining DSV. Now working on novel approaches for in vitro cultivation of pollinators, optimisation of entomophilic pollination processes and construction of synthetic biology systems for the development of pollination bio-controllers.