In Ovo, the Leiden based biotech startup developing a test for chicken eggs to determine their gender, yesterday announced it has raised €200.000 in funding from the Leiden University.
Founded in 2011by the two co-founders Wouter Bruins and Will Stutterheim, In Ovo developed a technology which makes it possible for the poultry industry to determine the sex of an chicken at an early stage. At the moment millions of one day old chicks of layer chicken (billions worldwide) are being destroyed. There is a huge debate in both the Netherlands and Europe about this societal problem. Therefore the Dutch government, poultry sector, animal welfare group, University of Leiden and In Ovo have combined forces to solve this problem.
Thus far, the technique developed by the “eggspert” to solve this problem is being tested in several laboratory experiments. The outcomes show positive results but further research is needed to determine the sex at an early stage. The funding is to be used to further research and developed the system for use in large scale in hatcheries. Another part of the investments will be used to expand the team of “eggsperts”. Within 9 months from now the team will be presenting it’s first proof of concept. Four dutch hatcheries have already confirmed they will use the system developed by In Ovo (if its meets the requirements).
Next to the €200.000 provided by the Leiden University, the company is getting an extra €350.000 (subsidy) from the Ministry of Economic Affairs (this was announced back in May).
Image credits: Jan Willemsen