Spin-off boosts aquaculture and hydroculture yield through microbiome analysis

(01-07-2021) New spin-off KYTOS offers specialized health and management advice to shrimp, fish and plant farmers.

The technology reduces disease outbreaks and mortality by monitoring the microbiome and detecting changes quickly, in order to take appropriate actions.

Bacteria or microorganisms live all around us, including on and in our bodies. They play an essential role in almost all biochemical processes – without them life on earth would not even be possible.

At the same time, they can do a lot of damage. Take aquaculture, for instance, where diseases can cause mass mortality in the animals. Or hydroculture, where bacteria can quickly damage entire crops.

The intensification of agriculture and aquaculture is accompanied by an increased risk of such disease outbreaks. Therefore, getting these under control, protecting and strengthening the plants and the animals and thus boosting the harvest are an absolute priority.

KYTOS meets this need by monitoring the microbiome of the water. Also, the new technology allows for predicting changes in this microbiome. Users of the technology thus have the opportunity to control their system and prevent disease and mortality.

“Through a unique blend of data science and technology, we have developed a platform that quickly analyzes the microbiome of fluids and detects distortions in key health parameters,” says Ruben Props, co-founder and CEO of KYTOS. “This way, our customers can act in time, improve animal and plant health and increase their production”.

Frederiek-Maarten Kerckhof, co-founder and COO of KYTOS adds:

“Our approach is entirely focused on providing our customers with personalized, actionable insights on water and product use for sustainable aquaculture and precision agriculture.”
“Like most farmers, we are aware that each microbiome is unique and therefore requires a tailored definition of its microbiome health,” explains Marc Indigne, growth manager of KYTOS. “Some shrimp ponds primarily require tight control of (micro)algae, while other ponds on the same farm need control of bacterial health aspects.”

KYTOS algorithms will continue to improve as access to data from more ecosystems increases. As a result, KYTOS will be able to make tailored predictive health assessments for each ecosystem.

KYTOS will also roll out other applications in the coming years.

“KYTOS’ technology can also be applied in drinking and process water production, where it is essential that microbial water quality is ensured at all time,” states Ghent University professor Nico Boon, co-founder of KYTOS. “Water quality monitoring offers opportunities for shorter follow-up of cooling water and drinking water, for example, and to help ensure the final quality when reusing wastewater. In addition, the technology can also be used within research and development in the fermentation sector.”

KYTOS is a spin-off of Ghent University, a university known for the coaching it offers to young entrepreneurs.

“Through the Industrial Research Fund, Ghent University is strongly committed to funding and strategic advice for startups,” says Margriet Drouillon, business developer of the IRF consortium BLUEGent. “BLUEGent provided KYTOS with financial and business coaching. In addition, from our network, the connection could be made to several new partners for use cases.”

About KYTOS

KYTOS develops management tools for microbial processes based on microbiome analysis. This Ghent University spin-off has its origins in the Centre for Microbial Ecology and Technology (CMET), from where KYTOS builds on decades of cutting-edge expertise in microbial community management.

These insights, combined with extensive coaching from various IRF consortia at Ghent University, led to the establishment of KYTOS. Through a unique mix of data science and microbial insights, KYTOS provides its customers with the tools to optimize their production based on microbiome data.

As a start-up, KYTOS has a strong focus on agriculture and aquaculture applications, but the spin-off also has a large portfolio within the drinking and process water sectors and is also working on use cases in the fermentation sector.

Contact

More info

www.kytos.be