Two companies with links to the University of Surrey have raised funds to develop products that will help release high-value contaminated land for redevelopment.
Cybersense Biosystems, set up in 2001 with £100,000 seed funding from the university and a Department of Trade and Industry Smart award, has raised more than £225,000 from the Oxford Investment Opportunity Network.
The funding will allow Cybersense to develop a portable land toxicity testing service, Rapid On-site Toxicity Audit System, offering developers a cost-effective way of rapidly screening and monitoring the toxicity of soil, sludge and water samples. Current testing can take five days - ROTAS should deliver in two hours.
Meanwhile, a company formed as a spin-off from research conducted at Cornell University, the University of Surrey and the University of Naples will provide biological systems that detoxify heavily contaminated soil and water.
The firm uses ferns and trees to remove toxicants from soil or water through a fungus that, when applied to roots, enhances uptake of contaminants.