ORF Genetics uses both greenhouse and in-field cultivation of the bioengineered barley (Hordeum vulgare) for safe and fast scale-up of the recombinant protein.
The greenhouse cultivation is hydroponic, using sustainable geothermal energy for heating and electricity from nearby geothermal power station, and volcanic pumice from the Hekla volcano area instead of soil as growing matrix. The greenhouse is used for both R&D and small-scale cultivation.
The in-field cultivation is both very economical and suitable for large volume production of recombinant proteins. Unlike rice or soybean, the barley plant has great agricultural plasticity with successful cultivation under variable conditions, manifested in both desertic and cool temperate cultivation sites.
The cultivation of barley contributes to less competition for land used for food production, as its adaptability and robustness allow cultivation at otherwise challenging cultivation sites around the world. In-field cultivation of barley offers great potential for production of biomaterials for the good of the environment and mankind in general.