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Company’s mission to revolutionise agriculture and eliminate global waste takes off at Space Park Leicester

An innovative agri-tech start-up on a mission to eradicate global agricultural waste by harnessing the power of technology and data-driven solutions has praised the unparalleled expertise in earth observation Space Park Leicester has to offer.

Messium is an agri-tech start-up focused on eliminating global agricultural waste through reduction in pesticide applications and optimisation of fertiliser and water usage.

Established in May this year, the company is poised to transform the agriculture industry for the better. Since becoming the latest company to be accepted on the European Space Agency – Business Incubation Centre for the United Kingdom (ESA-BIC UK) programme at Space Park Leicester, the University of Leicester’s pioneering £100 million hub science and innovation park, is working with a valuable package of support from leading space and earth observation scientists.

Chief Technical Officer Messium, Vishal Soomaney, said: “The agriculture sector faces a critical challenge with the overuse of preventative fungicides, leading to a dangerous build-up in chemical resistance. In the past two decades alone, seven major combative products have been decommissioned, highlighting the urgency of addressing this issue.

“Reduced fungicide application not only fosters healthier crops and soil but also reduces tractor compaction. In addition, excess fertiliser application contributes to damaged soil quality, the release of harmful greenhouse gases, and the eutrophication of waterways.

“Our ambition for Messium is for it to become the global health monitor for crops, leading to elimination of agricultural waste worldwide.”

Founders Vishal Soomaney, CTO, and George Marangos-Gilks, CEO, bring a wealth of experience to the helm of Messium. George, with a background in successfully commercialising AI-focused companies such as The Tab and Magic Carpet AI, possesses the skills necessary to grow an AI-first venture. Vishal, recognised for his achievements in winning awards from NASA, Microsoft, ESA, and Research Councils UK for his work in satellite-based forest fire prediction systems, as well as his contributions to successful start-ups valued at over £100,000,000 brings invaluable technical leadership to the team.

George Marangos-Gilks, CEO, added: “Messium’s choice to apply to ESA-BIC at Leicester was deliberate. Offering unparalleled expertise in Earth Observation through The Centre for Landscape and Climate Research, Institute for Environmental Futures, and NERC National Centre for Earth Observation we are excited for our future. Messium is also deeply interested in programs like METEOR at Space Park Leicester, the Airborne Mapping group, Urban Environment Research, Pollution group, and Climate Processes group.”

The ESA BIC UK is managed and partly funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), in collaboration with ESA Space Solutions, the UK Space Agency and the University of Leicester. 

It provides start-ups with a carefully designed two-year support package to help them through the development of their game changing products and services in an increasingly competitive and global marketplace. 

Vinay Patel, Head of Commercial and Innovation at Space Park Leicester said: “Messium uses its expertise in machine learning and high spectral resolution image analysis alongside its wide array of commercial partnerships across the UK including organisations such as NERC and ADAS to tell farmers precisely how to treat their crops for optimal results and minimal waste.

“We are delighted to be supporting innovative start-ups such as Messium through the ESA BIC programme, through which businesses are allowed to use space and satellite technologies to develop new innovative products and services.”

ESA-BIC (UK) at Leicester is a route for SMEs to develop technologies for the Space industry. Successful applicants receive a programme of technical support from the University of Leicester’s leading space and earth observation scientists as well as business support. Further details are available at  Messium empowers farmers and agronomists with precise guidance for crop treatment, reducing waste and fostering healthier crops and soil. With a vision to become the global health monitor for crops, Messium is committed to revolutionising agriculture for a more sustainable future. For further information visit: