Micronovo - misadventures in the commercialisation of university science
In 2005 Australia predominantly used a 'dig and dump' and 'pump and treat' approach to dealing with contaminated sites. There was little appetite for exploring 'alternative' remediation strategies despite the successes of biological remediation strategies used elsewhere in the world. Micronovo Pty Ltd was established in 2012 to provide remediation practitioners in Australia access to the microbiology expertise they needed to manage bioremediation projects. Micronovo provides molecular diagnostic services to describe microbial communities or abundances of specific phylotypes and functional genes relevant to biodegradation processes. It also provides cultures for chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbon degradation, bench tests to assess biodegradation potential and stable isotope analyses (SIP and CSIA). After a 5 year start-up phase in partnership with UNSW Australia, Micronovo is now an independent small business with a commercial laboratory, professional business structure and an international distribution network.