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On the 16th of October 2019, the Bioprocessing Platform was honored to share its SMME support to Zuplex Botanical (Pty) Ltd and Sawubona Mycelium (Pty) Ltd. The highlight came through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) whereby various stakeholders including the TIA interim CEO attended the event. Zuplex Botanicals develops, manufactures and markets high-quality botanical extracts from selected indigenous medicinal plant species and targets the cosmetics, nutraceutical, and food/flavoring market sectors. Sawubona Mycelium’s business interest is in the cultivation of mushroom mycelium in submerged (liquid) fermentation to produce mycelium-derived liquid and powder products for use in the food, beverage, cosmeceutical, pharmaceutical and laboratory segments. Having connected through interactions at the Bioprocessing Platform, synergies were identified and will be explored through the formal engagement enabled by the MoU signing.

Bioprocessing Platform Manager, Mr. Sani Gumede indicated the importance of supporting such projects as the platform needs to ensure that Biodiversity works for the Platform, thus translating biology into viable products and to respond to national imperatives. The platform encourages and supports collaboration amongst its beneficiaries and the formation of mutually beneficial associations, thereby acting as a facilitator, enabler, and connector. These collaborations will enable the creation of innovative biomaterials and processes, thereby creating new markets and boosting the bio- and knowledge-based economies; provide an opportunity for skills development; allow job creation, and elevate small businesses to possibly compete with global players. The sentiments were supported by the TIA Interim CEO, Ms. Fuzlin Levy-Hassen, whereby she emphasized the need to collaborate and grow the Bioscience Economy thus helping to create a better life for all South Africans.

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