Beta Bugs takes flight with Agri-EPI Centre support

Published: 28 June 2022

Beta Bugs Ltd, a specialist UK agri-food supply chain business improving insect genetics, has expanded with support from the Agri-EPI Centre.

The entrepreneurial company has developed a pioneering insect breeding facility to help tackle one of the world’s biggest challenges at the Agri-EPI Centre's Northern Hub on Easter Bush Campus, in Midlothian Science Zone.

Agri Epi Northern Hub Easterbushcampus 800

CEO and Founder Thomas Farrugia said the insect farming industry is helping to combat three major areas contributing to the climate emergency: food waste, deforestation, and carbon emissions.

Being part of the Agri-EPI Centre has delivered collaboration, funding and access to new market opportunities – as well as space for Beta Bugs to grow its operations specialising in the genetics of insects destined for feed. 

Agri-EPI Centre offers a host of benefits to members, from employment and lab space to support with funding bids. Part of the UK’s Agri-Tech Strategy and supported by Innovate UK, the membership organisation aims to support projects which will generate economic growth and help tackle the global issues of sustainability and feeding the world.

Beta Bugs focus on breeding an improved Black Soldier Fly is part of that mission to generate a sustainable alternative protein source that can be used in aquaculture, pork, and poultry feed.

“Agri-EPI provided us with a great office and space for us to be able to grow, both the team and also the space for the bugs. It’s helpful to be on site with other agri-tech businesses because it’s good to be able to build up connections, share peer-to-peer learning and there are collaboration opportunities between us.”

Thomas Farrugia, Beta Bugs CEO and Founder 

Thomas said being a member of the Agri-EPI had been a huge factor in the growth of the company.

“It’s great to be able to work with a team that’s so motivated to enable agriculture to innovate further and develop, and to be able to leverage that.

“What I really like about Agri-EPI is the physical space, being able to build connections into the agri-food supply chain. The ability to build relationships with key stakeholders such as Innovate UK and DEFRA has been really important too and one which we accessed via the platforms that Agri-EPI Centre gave us.

“We’ve had assistance with leveraging grant funding and managing building projects, as well as engineering support. Importantly, they’ve helped us expand and helped the company to grow and create jobs.”

Thomas Farrugia, Beta Bugs CEO and Founder

“Beta Bugs is a great example of a company which has really benefitted from our dedicated support and assistance. The business is growing, creating jobs and developing new products and services to supply other companies in our sector – it is a real supply chain success story.

“By working together, we have shown we can support agri-tech companies to scale and Beta Bugs is just one of 142 different projects we’ve helped since our launch, supporting collaborations providing access to R&D funding of £36 million into the sector.”

Annabelle Gardener, Membership and Events Manager at the Agri-EPI Centre

 

 

 

 

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