Harpe Bioherbicide Solutions, an agricultural technology company dedicated to providing natural and sustainable herbicide solutions, has recently been granted funding by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). This grant will support their research efforts in developing bioherbicide formulations derived from natural plant extracts to control weeds that have become resistant to synthetic herbicides.
The NSF grant, amounting to $275,000, was awarded to Harpe Bioherbicides as part of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project titled “Safe control of herbicide-resistant weeds with a novel natural bioherbicide platform.” The company’s portfolio of products offers wide-spectrum control of broadleaf and grass weeds by utilizing new sites and modes of action.
According to the abstract posted on the NSF website, the widespread adoption of Harpe’s technology expects to benefit farmers and crop producers by reducing the societal strain, financial burden, and environmental stress caused by crop losses due to herbicide-resistant weeds. By providing an environmentally safe method that eliminates these resistant weeds without the need for excess fuel, time, equipment, or synthetic herbicides, Harpe Bioherbicides aims to address the challenges faced by farmers and promote sustainable practices in global food production.
The NSF, an independent federal agency, funds researchers who contribute to the creation of new knowledge and discoveries, thereby advancing our understanding of the world. With its expertise spanning all science and engineering disciplines, the NSF is uniquely positioned to identify and support investments in cutting-edge research areas.
Erwin Gianchandani, NSF Assistant Director for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships, expressed the agency’s commitment to funding deep-technology startups that have the potential to shape scientific and engineering advancements into meaningful solutions for the present and future.
Dr. Chad Brommer, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Harpe Bioherbicide serves as the principal investigator for the SBIR Phase I project. He emphasized the company’s mission to support farmers on a global scale by developing novel and natural herbicide solutions that address the increasing challenges posed by weed resistance while advancing sustainable practices in food production. By overcoming current weed-control challenges and introducing sustainable farming practices, Harpe Bioherbicide aims to support farmers’ success while simultaneously improving the environment through decreased reliance on synthetic chemical products.
The U.S. National Science Foundation’s Small Business Programs play a crucial role in transforming scientific discoveries into products and services with both commercial and societal impact. With an annual funding allocation of over $200 million, the NSF supports startups and small businesses across various scientific and technological fields. These companies can receive up to $2 million to facilitate research and development, helping to de-risk technologies and increase their chances of commercial success. The Small Business Innovation Research Program, known as America’s Seed Fund, is a congressionally mandated initiative within the NSF. With a budget of approximately $9.5 billion, the NSF supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.
Harpe Bioherbicide Solutions’ grant from the NSF highlights the importance of developing innovative and sustainable solutions to address the challenges faced by farmers in weed control. By leveraging natural plant extracts and introducing new modes of action, Harpe Bioherbicides aims to contribute to the advancement of agriculture while reducing the environmental impact associated with herbicide use. Through collaborations between agricultural technology companies and research institutions, we can pave the way for a more sustainable and resilient future in food production.
Image provided by Harpe Bioherbicide Solutions