BIOTECH firm CuanTec, which is developing food wrap from shellfish industry waste, landed the £150,000 top prize at the Higgs EDGE science business awards.

The award recognises entrepreneurs whose science, technology or engineering firm has applied leading-edge technology to an innovative product, or product in development, which has the potential to be world-leading and commercialised on a global scale.

Based at BioCity in Motherwell, the Strathclyde University spinout began research earlier this year and aims to tackle food waste and the environment.

It has developed a new way to extract biopolymer chitosan from langoustine shells for use in the product, which will be biodegradable, recyclable and anti-microbial, and will preserve foods for longer, cutting waste.

Chief scientific officer Dr Ryan Taylor said: “In the six months since starting up, CuanTec has made tremendous advances in developing the chitosan extraction process and prototyping the packaging product. CuanTec is well on track to move to scale-up and commercial production.”

Thanking the judges for the award, chief executive officer Cait Murray-Green added: “This award is fantastic recognition for the CuanTec team, and is a springboard for commercialising the process and products CuanTec is developing.

“CuanTec has big ambitions, and within the next year we will be in a strong position to seek further investment to move to full commercial production.”