We welcome as our third speaker, Dr Björn Örvar in our New Environment Lecture Series. The Orf Genetics Greenhouse is the title of this lecture which is open to the public. Please join online HERE.

Björn Örvar is a co-founder of ORF Genetics. Björn received his Ph.D. in plant molecular genetics in 1997 from the University of British Columbia, Canada, and was a post-doctoral fellow at McGill University, Montréal for three years before moving back to Iceland. Björn is CSO of ORF Genetics and responsible for business development with a special focus on developing a portfolio of animal growth factors derived from bioengineered barley seeds for cultivated meat and cellular agriculture.


Orf Genetics uses the abundant geothermal energy found on the Reykjanes Peninsula to warm the 2,000 sq. m (22,000 sq. ft) eco-designed greenhouse and power the artificial lights for maximum growth when the winter sun sets low on the horizon. In neatly organized rows, ORF grows 130,000 barley plants (Hordeum vulgare) year-round using hydroponic cultivation in volcanic pumice instead of topsoil to minimize the risk of any contamination. While barley is one of civilization's oldest crops, ORF is exploring new and innovative uses for the barley grains to produce various human and animal-like growth factors.