APS Biocontrol Ltd (APS) is an innovative biocontrol company, developing technologies which address an increasing need for effective and environmentally-sustainable replacements for synthetic chemicals. The company also offers a range of supporting diagnostic and advisory services. APS was incorporated in November 2004 by Dr Alison Blackwell, after completion of a Royal Society of Edinburgh ‘Enterprise Fellowship’. In April 2011 the company relocated from Edinburgh to Dundee.
APS’ core technology is based on bacteriophage; naturally-occurring antimicrobials, widely researched in medical and veterinary fields, whereas their application in environmental sectors is relatively new. APS’ lead product, Biolyse® is a world first; a bacteriophage-based solution for washed and packed fresh produce. Currently, Biolyse® is being rolled out with a number of the UK’s major potato producers to reduce bacterial contamination during packing and its’ application is also being investigated in a variety of other agricultural and horticultural sectors, supported by a combination of grant- and commercial funding. In 2010 APS launched its’ own insect repellent brand, ‘Smidge that Midge’, which has caught the country’s imagination as a rugged, effective, family friendly product for outdoor enthusiasts. With over 250 UK outlets to date, APS was recently awarded the 2011 Nexxus Innovation Award (East) for Smidge and is currently developing a number of potential overseas markets for the product.
Skills & ExpertiseThe company’s core competency is the development of bespoke bacteriophage solutions and the current focus is the prevention of bacterial rots in fresh produce, which are responsible for significant losses to the grower through rejections by the retailer and customer complaints.On the back of the company founder’s academic expertise and reputation, APS is frequently called upon to carry out R&D relating to Scotland’s greatest insect pest, in addition to making regular contributions to the media. To complement these activities, APS runs an online midge forecasting service www.midgeforecast.co.uk.