SilviBio received initial funding in 2019 from CivTech as part of a challenge brought by Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS):
How might we use technology to make better use of Scotland's valuable but limited supply of high quality tree seed?
In response to this, the SilviBio team came up with the idea for creating sustainable, biobased seed coatings and soil amendments and started to develop this technology in the lab. Tree seeds typically require significant amounts of water and naturally, germination rates suffer in soils with low soil moisture. By creating a technology to hold water closer to the seed, seeds will undergo less water stress and be more likely to germinate successfully. In addition, our aim has always been to develop technologies that use sustainable, bio-based and microplastic-free materials instead of the industry standard petroleum-based materials commonly used in seed coatings and soil conditioners.
Alicja Dzieciol, CEO and founder of SilviBio, had this to say:
“We have developed two products that are aimed at increasing conifer seed germination performance – particularly during periods of water deficit – and they can be used in the field or in nursery conditions...
Both products are showing huge potential in terms of increasing seed germination rates; and also in being able to make more efficient use of water, which in years to come is likely to become an increasingly valuable resource in many parts of the world.”
By the summer of 2020, our seed coating was ready for initial trials at Forestry and Land Scotland’s Newton Nursery. The initial results looked promising and the partnership with Forestry and Land Scotland continued leading to larger-scale field trials in 2021.
Application of SilviBio's soil conditioner to rotavated soil at FLS's Newton Nursery
Josh Roberts, FLS Innovation Manger, said:
“We are looking to adapt our forestry practices to meet the challenges that are coming our way and that means coming up with new ways of doing things.
Lab and field trials have so far been very promising indeed. This is a great step forward for forestry and has significant implications for forestry, not just in Scotland but in countries that practice a style of forestry similar to the UK and even further afield."
More information about this can be found on the Forestry and Land Scotland website: https://forestryandland.gov.scot/news-releases/civtech-seed-innovation-to-help-trees-grow-with-less-water
To find out more about our seed coatings and soil conditioners or to discuss setting up trials, please contact us.