IGFS launches food-fraud spinout with over half a million pounds' seed funding
Cibus Analytical will build on a decade of research at IGFS. As well as offering a lab testing service, it will offer innovative, portable testing tools to allow customers to raplidly test for food authenticity and safety across global supply chains.
The funding round has been led by QUBIS, the commercialisation arm of Queen’s University, and also involves a number of angel investors with a range of backgrounds from within the food sector and support from Innovate UK.
The £570,000 seed funding will be used to further develop and commercialise innovative methods to test for food safety vulnerabilities, ensuring authenticity of ingredients across the food supply chain.
Food fraud costs the UK food and drink industry up to £12bn a year. Foods such as grains, spices, coffee, wine, honey and fish are among the categories most commonly subjected to fraud according to a list drawn up by the EU Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. Cibus has already been working with a number of the leading food retailers and suppliers to develop a solution for this growing problem.
Cibus Analytical will commercialise research from IGFS, a world-leading food security research provider to governments and multinational industries, and one of four Global Research Institutes at Queen's University Belfast. Cibus Analytical was founded by IGFS researchers Prof Chris Elliott, Dr Terry McGrath, Dr Simon Haughey and Mrs Pamela Galvin-King.
Prof Chris Elliott, who is also the founder of IGFS, said: "I am delighted to see Cibus secure this funding round as it will allow the development of a much needed commercial solution to help protect the integrity of the global food supply system."
Brian McCaul, CEO of QUBIS, added: "We are excited to support this investment round and welcome the group of domain specific angel investors who have invested alongside ourselves."
Dr Clive Black, Chairman of the Industry Advisory Board of IGFS commented: "Food safety and food integrity have been growing issues for policy makers, reputable food systems and consumers for some years. The food testing provided by Cibus Analytical ensures food safety and boosts consumer trust across the supply chain. Cibus Analytical, which has emerged from the world renowned Institute for Global Food Security, has a rapidly growing capacity to quickly, conveniently and cost effectively improve intelligence around food integrity and so the reputation and effectiveness of food supply chains."