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Budding growth for Wild Bioscience at Milton Park

Agritech startup takes 5,000 sq ft of additional lab and R&D space to facilitate growth plans

Wild Bioscience – specialists in developing high-yielding, climate-resilient crop varieties – has expanded at Milton Park by a further 5,000 sq ft, bringing its total footprint at the Oxfordshire-based science, business and technology community to 9,000 sq ft.

The agritech company joined the Park in 2021 as a spinout from Oxford University and now employs over 20 staff who will occupy its new, bespoke R&D labs and offices, which will support a planned doubling of the team’s headcount.

Wild Bioscience’s name was born out of a belief that genetic solutions tested by nature over millions of years can be used to solve pressing challenges on the farm today, and that improving agricultural efficiency would in turn reduce farmland expansion to help protect these wild spaces.

The company’s mission is to develop “wild-enhanced” crop varieties that support bigger and more efficient harvests, blending molecular and computational biology to understand how evolution has already improved plant biology in wild species.

By pushing the boundaries of biology, it aims to boost the yields of globally important crops such as soy, maize and wheat under increasingly challenging conditions driven by climate change.

Ross Hendron, Co-founder and CEO at Wild Bioscience, said:

“We’re at an exciting time in our growth journey as we’re now getting crops into the field for the first time – asking growers what they think of our new solutions. Getting our product into field trials is as significant as a drug discovery company getting to clinical trials.

“We raised £12m in seed capital in 2021 and we’re planning a Series A funding round next year, which will be a trigger for yet more expansion. As an ambitious startup, we need to capitalise on these growth opportunities, but because of the very nature of developing and growing large crop plants, we need a lot of space in order to do this.

“It was challenging to find suitable lab space in Oxford but we were attracted to Milton Park due to its single ownership, creating a giant incubator with the flexibility for companies to grow. This, and the Park’s exceptional facilities, made it an ideal fit for our unconventional requirements that include a unique combination of laboratory and crop propagation capabilities.”

Tom Booker, Commercial Manager at MEPC Milton Park, said:

“It’s a pleasure to be able to accommodate Wild Bioscience’s growth plans. As the UK’s largest science, technology and business community under single ownership and through our innovative ten-day planning arrangement, we’re committed to creating a supportive ecosystem that enables occupiers to scale up quickly.

“We’re excited for Wild Bioscience to further benefit from this environment and look forward to supporting them by creating the bespoke space they need.”

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About Milton Park Milton Park is a leading science, technology and business community in Oxfordshire and one of the largest in Europe. It is a collaborative working environment and a welcoming community that fuels innovation and sustainable growth for more than 250 companies and 9,000 people. With three million sq ft (278,709 sq m) of offices, laboratories and warehouses and 25+ amenities, Milton Park is in 214 acres of ownership, of which 43 acres is open and landscaped space with water shrubs, grass and trees. Its primary responsibility is to its customers with a duty to create a home for dynamic companies, small or large, thanks to an inspiring landscape, unrivalled connectivity and welcome humanity. It facilitates life-changing discoveries and conversations between companies, local and national government, research, academia, education, local residents and all relevant stakeholders. By managing the buildings and infrastructure in sustainable ways, the environment is enhanced, and flexibility is given for each company to realise its full potential. Milton Park provides a place where collaboration and the fusion of ideas can flourish and talent can thrive. Social and cultural life are integral to Milton Park. As a member of the community, people can enjoy its many amenities and events. Please visit: About MEPC MEPC provides long term stewardship and creates transformational places with the future in mind. Its expertise lies in urban regeneration and facilitating the growth of science, business, and technology companies on its estates – giving rise to exceptional places that grow and evolve over time. Its track record is second to none. Across MEPC’s UK park and urban portfolio, MEPC provides workspace for more than 350 organisations and 15,000 people over four million sq ft.

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