SME interaction

AgriGrub   •    Cambond    •    Celbius   •    Consus   •    Entomics
Peter Beales Roses   •    PRM Waste Systems   •    RootWave
Simpsons Nursery's   •    Smartbell


AgriGrub Ltd

WRAP states that the UK wastes £19 billion worth of food a year in production and consumption sectors. 70% of the UK's wasted water footprint is used in the production and consumption of food and drink. Globally, a third of food is wasted - the scale of the problem cannot be understated.

Agrigrub's goal is to fully utilize this food waste, diverting a costly waste stream away from landfill, incineration or anaerobic digestion into a process which produces high value outputs. The engine for this process is the Black Soldier Fly larvae, an insect species adept at growing on a variety of organic waste types. Waste fresh produce can be used to create protein and calcium rich animal feeds. The full breath of food production and processing is utilised, we work with farmers, distribution centres and retail outlets to increase the sustainability of their supply chains. In addition to the insects themselves, their droppings and casings (frass) make a rich organic fertiliser which also reduces insect damage and pathogen load on crop plants.

Black Soldier flies larvae are natural born nutrient converters, with millions of years' worth of experience in transforming fruit and vegetables into biomass and frass. The gut of the BSFL contains a wealth of beneficial biochemistry which can be passed onto the soil through frass. The main components of their casings (18% of frass) are chitin and chitosan. These complex molecules act as a chelating agent, making micronutrients more available to plants. Chitin and chitosan also elicit an induced systemic effect in crop plants, analogous to an immune system response in animals. This induced systemic effect can be harnessed as a bio-repellent, allowing the plant time to "draw up its defences" before an attack. Chitin and chitosan has been proven in the lab to be effective against a variety of pests and diseases, but previous sources of chitosan were scarce and extraction methods were prohibitively energy intensive. In contrast, frass is produced from waste with minimal energy input, turning a low value and underused resource into a high value, sustainable and readily available product.

Overall, AgriGrub's process is a significant positive disruption to the current food waste landscape, and an innovative way of turning waste material into a set of valuable, sustainable resources. This philosophy perfectly aligns with the Innovation Hub vision for reducing waste and increasing efficiency within the agricultural sector.

Current projects

AgriGrub has received financial support from the Eastern AgriTech Growth Initiative for a one year research and development looking at the route to scaling operations to meet UK demand. We are working in collaboration with InAgro and Vives as part of the Interreg 2 Seas project and industrial partners to examine scaling methodology.

We are also collaborating with G's, Delfland Nurseries and other growers to understand how frass can be most effectively used in the agricultural and horticultural sectors, with trials currently running on a variety of pest species.

If you are interested in collaborating in any way please get in touch with us through





Cambond has developed a plant based resin which can be used as an industrial adhesive for construction products in wood panel industry to replace formaldehyde based resin. We have IP to cover non-added formaldehyde bioresin system to be used in making MDF, OSB, particle board and plywood. Cambond resin allows for environmentally friendly manufacture of construction products (wood panels, other materials) to be made in existing manufacturing facilities at competitive cost. In addition, Cambond resin can be combined with many types of agricultural biomass fibres or polymers to make a range of biomass composites which offer environmental and commercial advantages.

Cambond technology solves the 2 largest problems manufacturers have in looking for environmentally friendly materials for their products

  1. Cost - alternatives to plastics are more expensive than the materials they replace.
  2. Supply - alternatives are often available in limited supplies inhibiting large scale change.

Cambond provides a solution to these issues. Our materials are largely plant based (>50%) and so enjoy the commercial advantage of a lower cost feedstock. Biomass byproducts from agriculture are available all over the world in very large quantities.

  • Cambond composites can replace plastics in existing manufacturing processes which use moulding and extrusion to make a wide range of products.
  • Cambond composites can be manufactured and supplied to manufacturers for LESS than the cost of their current virgin plastics.
  • Cambond has a library of patents to cover the technology. Some of these patents ARE granted in China and the US.

Cambond is bringing its technology to market and scaling up operations. We know our technology can be used in EXISTING manufacturing processes to substitute plant/biomass feedstocks for oil feedstock and provide significant commercial and environmental benefits in manufacture.

In order to turn 'waste into taste', WASWARE Ltd was set-up to commercialise food waste based products. For example, used coffee ground based coffee cups.

In a cost competitive world our technology fits in well with the resource available in the place where produces millions of tonnes of biomass per year as by-products of agriculture (rice wheat straws, sugarcanes, HEMP, etc.). These materials have commercial cost advantages and could be used to replace wood or plastics in the manufacture of many products.

IP is a core component of Cambond's business. We have taken significant steps and expenditure to file patents and protect the company's intellectual property.

Cambond are looking for investment and business partners in the UK and Europe to grow the business in scale and commercialise the intellectual property. WE will grow a global business with manufacturing capability in major markets around the world.

Cambond would prefer to work in partnership with industrial/commercial partners to establish JV arrangements which would deliver capital and industrial/commercial expertise to the endeavour. This will speed the route to market and significantly reduce execution risk.

Cambond productsCambond products


Celbius helps customers to improve their bioprocesses by exposing liquids and slurries to ultrasonic energy. The energy is delivered to the process stream whilst flowing through a sonic pipe and lowers production costs for extractions, fermentations and biotransformations by enabling faster reactions and higher yields. Key applications for the agricultural industry include extraction, for example for natural colours, antioxidants and other bioactives.

The technology improves the yield of biogas and bioethanol (fermentation), and may be used for other applications where efficient mixing, material drying, cleaning or novel product formulation is needed.Laboratory experiments are first performed to quantify the benefit of ultrasound in the process. Following this, the technology is demonstrated in a full scale 10L flow cell prior to installation in a manufacturing process. A variety of business models are available to suit the customer.

Steve TaylorDr Steve Taylor, Chief Scientific Officer at Celbius





"Consus Packhouse" is a solution built specifically for growing, packing and distribution operations - with particular emphasis on Quality Assurance & Traceability. From vegetables to soft fruit, flowers and herbs, Consus will have a solution for you and software that works around your operation.

Based in Bourne, Lincolnshire, Consus Fresh Solutions was established by Peter Taylor and Derek Thompson, who have over 30 years' experience of working within the fresh produce industry.

With up to the minute knowledge of changing markets, legislation and technology, Consus Fresh Solutions work with selected partners to ensure the Consus software continues to be the most innovative solution now and in the future.

The cloud based software allows growers to manage their packing processes, cut waste, reduce labour costs and increase profits. Embedded Traceability functionality enables growers to track a pallet from field to despatch, and from despatch back to field with full historic detail.

BRC and retailer compliance are fully automated enabling your technical team to work more efficiently and endless paper based compliance systems become obsolete.

The Time & Attendance module with built in facial recognition integrates fully with the Consus costing system enabling you to have instant access to your production costs in real time.




Each year, wasted food represents US$1 trillion of lost value, and leads to 3.3 billion tonnes of carbon emissions the FAO estimates that global food production must increase by 70% to feed the world's rapidly growing population by 2050. This has forced a fundamental rethink around the way we source high-quality animal protein, as well as nutritious fruits and vegetables.

Entomics Biosystems' innovative solution is to 'close the food waste loop' by transforming organic waste into sustainable agricultural inputs, using an indigenous UK insect, the Black Soldier Fly (BSF) as a conversion catalyst. BSF larvae efficiently convert 95% of organic waste into complex fats and proteins in their bodies. Leveraging our novel post-processing technology, we refine these compounds into aquaculture feed and organic fertiliser in a cheap, scalable and sustainable manner.

Overall, this is a significant positive disruption to the current food waste landscape, and an innovative way of turning waste material into a set of valuable, sustainable resources.

Thus, the Entomics philosophy perfectly aligns with the Innovation Hub vision for reducing waste and increasing efficiency within the agricultural sector.

The Team

The four co-founders combine the necessary skills to set up and develop this technology:

  • Matt McLaren (CEO) has experience as an analyst, a project leader and co-ordinating activities for and with small and large multinationals, backed up by a Cambridge University MBA.
  • Miha Pipan (CSO) is an experienced biochemist/bioinformatician with a track record in cell culture with Cancer Research UK and an MSc in Biochemistry from Cambridge University.
  • Fotis Fotiadis (CTO) is an experienced engineer, specialising in offshore Oil & Gas engineering and consulting. He has an MEng (Hons) from Sussex University and an MPhil in Sustainable Engineering from Cambridge University.

Projects and Aspirations

At Innovation Hub, activity centres on investigating the underlying physical and biological mechanisms behind insect-based waste transformation, and gathering data around engineering challenges, key conversion rates, chemical transformations and the effectiveness of targeted product applications. This project is supported by the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Eastern Agri-Tech Fund.

Matt McLaren CEO from Entomics said:
"The NIAB Innovation Hub has been the perfect place to start and develop our business. The site has excellent laboratory and prototyping facilities, and a wealth of knowledgeable and experienced NIAB advisors to provide support, guidance and training. The site has become a popular venue for networking and events within the local agricultural community, and offers the chance for startups and SMEs to connect with influential growers, retailers and academics".

The Entomics team - Miha Pipan, Matt McLaren and Fotis FotiadisMiha Pipan, Matt McLaren and Fotis Fotiadis


EntomicsDr Miha Pipan working at laboratory on-site

Peter Beales Roses

At Peter Beales our ambition is to offer a specialist rose and plant centre that sells the widest range of finest quality roses and other plants including shrubs and herbaceous stock. Nestled in the heart of the Peter Beales magnificent two acre display gardens, the plant centre has almost doubled in size over the last two years, with an ever-increasing range of plants.


PRM Waste Systems

We have an enviable reputation for cost effective solutions to industrial waste and recycling problems. Our extensive range of recycling equipment gives you the power to optimise your waste segregation, handling, storage and transportation. These include Aerobic Digestion, Baling, Bin Lifting, Briquetting, Compacting, Conveyors, Dewatering & Depackaging, Plastics & Film Source Segregation, Screening, Separating, Shearing and Shedding.

PRM Waste Systems are actively involved in researching and developing innovative technology, we work alongside our clients and suppliers to develop new solutions to existing and emerging difficulties.

We are the UK agents for Imabe Iberica who manufacture horizontal balers and conveyors, Runi A/S who manufacture screw compactors for expanded polystyrene and dewatering waste, Knapzak for a collection system, Vincent Corp who manufacture a dewatering screw press for organic material, JOEST who specialise in screening equipment and THM Recycling Solutions for all forms of shredding equipment.



Develops sustainable and scalable organic alternative to herbicides and is improving the environment by reducing the use of chemicals. RootWave Pro is an award winning professional hand-weeder for gardeners and groundskeepers to spot-weed and treat invasive species. RootWave is the leading solution to organically kill weeds without using chemicals and uses electricity to boil weeds inside out from the root upwards.


Simpsons Nursery's

We are a family run business, renowned as a specialist plant and tree centre, with one of the widest selections of plants on display in Cambridgeshire. The garden centre is always fully stocked with over 300 varieties of shrubs, 300 varieties of herbaceous and perennial plants. With over 90% of our stock being home grown we can guarantee it will be of excellent quality and very competitively priced.

We are specialist tree growers growing over 100 different varieties of Fruit Trees and more than 200 varieties of Ornamental and Native trees. We supply over 150 other garden centres nationwide with trees.

Simpson's Nurseries have supported the Eastern Agri-Tech Innovation Hub by providing plants and nursery space for our BioBoost Green Pesticide trial work and WRAP Green Pesticide trial work.



Smartbell offers an enterprise IoT and Artificial Intelligence based solution for livestock rearing and management. The fully automated system includes distress alerts, herd analysis, tracking across the value chain and customised management reports. The system uses advanced analytics on data gathered from animal wearables for early detection of issues. Smartbell also cross references regional data to better understand resource utilisation and promote proven best practices to reduce the negative environmental impacts of livestock rearing through increased resource utilization efficiencies.