2018
London, United Kingdom

2017 Speakers

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Mark Trimmer
Managing Partner
DunhamTrimmer LLC

Dr. Mark Trimmer has more than 30 years of experience in research, product development, registration, technical service, and technology licensing in the crop protection industry. Mark led international product development at American Cyanamid and at BASF, he led new technology acquisition for the agriculture division. In 2006, Mark established Trimmer Consulting to provide new technology assessment, R&D strategy, regulatory, and product development services to clients in the global agricultural chemical and biological markets. In 2011, he jointly formed DunhamTrimmer which focuses exclusively on the biopesticide, biostimulant, and biofertilizer industries providing strategic marketing, technical & market evaluations, and investment due diligence to our clients. In April of 2013, DunhamTrimmer and New Ag International jointly launched 2BMonthly The Global Biocontrol & Biostimulants E-Newsletter, providing the latest news on the biopesticide/biostimulant industries to our subscribers.

Day Two

Thursday 21st September, 2017

16.00 | Microbial Market for Biocontrol & Biostimulants

Ry Wagner
CEO
Agrinos

Douglas Ry Wagner joined Agrinos in 2013 from Dow AgroSciences, where he was Global New Ventures and Technology Leader. Before joining Dow he spent 16 years in research and 10 years leading technology-driven start-up companies. Dr. Wagner spent 3 years as a researcher in the Division of Plant Industry, CSIRO, in Australia before joining the University of Oregon, where he was a Professor of Biology. He then transitioned to business, as both VP Plant Genetics & Biotechnology and Head of Exelixis Plant Sciences. Dr. Wagner received a Bachelor of Science in Botany and Plant Pathology from Michigan State University and a Doctor of Philosophy in Genetics from the University of Washington.

Day Two

Thursday 21st September, 2017

15.00 | Fireside Chat: Integrating Microbials with Standard Agricultural Practice: Meeting Growers’ Needs

Kiersten Stead
Investment Director
Monsanto Growth Ventures

Dr. Stead is an Investment Director at MGV and has worked for over 15 years in the AgBiotechnology space before moving into Venture Capital. Previously, Kiersten was on the Burrill & Company Venture Team which invested in Life Sciences and was a Management Consultant specialized in early stage company development in nanotechnology.  She was a Scientist at the University of Alberta/ Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology & Genetics.  In addition, she also holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Alberta.  Kiersten is on the Boards of Plant Response Biotech, VitalFields (acquired), Understory Weather (O) and Blue River Technology (O). She is also a member of the Investment Committee of Genome Canada GAAP, The Keystone Symposia Scientific Advisory Board, and the EULC, a sport-not-for-profit.

Dan Tomso
Chief Scientific Officer
AgBiome

Dan has a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Biology from Duke University and has trained in Bioinformatics with the NIH. He was part of the R&D team at Athenix, where he helped lead the trait discovery effort and managed several major partnerships. Prior to joining AgBiome, Dan managed the US trait research team for Bayer CropScience and also established a global R&D alliance management program there. He has been with AgBiome since the founding of the company.

Day Two

Thursday 21st September, 2017

13.30 | Developing and Expanding Microbial Products for BioControl

Birgit Mitter
Research Scientist
Austrian Institute of Technology

Dr. Birgit Mitter (previously Reiter) is microbiologist and molecular biologist with strong experience in the field of beneficial plant-microbe interactions, in particular bacterial endophytes. Activities include the cultivation-independent analysis of microbial populations by D/TGGE, T-RFLP, sequence analysis, gene expression studies, as well as the functional analysis of isolates. B. Mitter applies (meta-) genomic approaches to elucidate functional roles of (uncultivated) endophytes and classical genetics such as knock-out and over-expression of selected genes to study the genetic background of beneficial plant-microbe interactions.

Day Two

Thursday 21st September, 2017

13.00 | Introducing Beneficial Bacteria into Progeny Seeds to Modify Plant Growth Traits

David Dent
Chief Technology Officer
Azotic Technologies Lts

David is the CTO of Azotic Technologies. With over 30 year’s experience in agriculture, he is responsible for R&D, product development and other technical matters. David also serves as a special advisor to the parliamentary and scientific committee.

Day Two

Thursday 21st September, 2017

09.00 | Translating Laboratory and In-Field Efficacy Data for Successful Product Design

Marcus-Meadows Smith
Chief Executive Officer
BioConsortia

Marcus Meadows-Smith is an experienced executive with a track record of success in the agricultural, biotech and chemical industries. Currently, Marcus is CEO of BioConsortia, Inc., an innovative microbial company developing consortia for improving plant traits and increasing crop yields. The company has a revolutionary R&D technology platform, which uses directed selection to identify teams of microbes that influence the expression of beneficial traits in crops. BioConsortia is developing highly effective multi-microbe solutions with superior efficacy and consistency.   Prior to BioConsortia, Marcus helped pioneer the adoption and expansion of microbial solutions into mainstream agriculture. As CEO of AgraQuest, he led the strategic refocusing and transformation of the company to a position of market leadership, resulting in the sale to Bayer CropScience for nearly $500 million. Following the acquisition, Marcus was the Head of Biologics for Bayer CropScience. Earlier in his career, Marcus worked for Sumitomo Corporation and had a 14 year career at Chemtura, ultimately becoming Executive Vice-President for a $2 billion portfolio of businesses: crop protection, consumer products and plastics additives.  
Marcus has a degree in Biological Science, Genetics from Birmingham University in the UK. He is passionate about farming and the environment and runs a small, sustainable farm and vineyard with his wife where they produce wine, lavender, fruit, and olive oil.

Day One

Wednesday 20th September, 2017

14.35 | Microbial Discovery and Development: Seed Treatment vs. Foliar Products

Lars Molbak
R&D Manager, Plant Health
Chr. Hansen A/S

Lars Molbak is the Research and Development Manager at Chr. Hansen in the Plant Health Division. In his team, Chr. Hansen works on developing microbial solutions to provide sustainable alternatives to farmers world-wide.

Day One

Wednesday 20th September, 2017

15.05 | Microbial Solutions to Sustainable Productivity: Transitioning from Human to Plant

Prakash Bhosale
Bioanalytical Group Leader
Dow AgroSciences

Experienced Project and People Lead with a demonstrated history of working in the biotechnology industry. Skilled in Good Laboratory Practice (GLP), Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS), Patent Portfolio Analysis, Proteomics and Biotechnology. Strong program and project management professional with a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.).

Day Two

Thursday 21st September, 2017

10.30 | R&D Involved in Product Development Process for Biologicals with a Focus on Biostimulants

Richard Broglie
Research Director, Global R&D Strategy
Dupont Pioneer

Richard Broglie is a Research Director in Trait Discovery and Optimization at DuPont Pioneer.  He received his PhD in microbiology and was a postdoctoral fellow and Assistant Professor in the Laboratory of Plant Molecular Biology at The Rockefeller University.  He has led trait discovery programs for modified fatty acid profiles in soybean and canola oils and for pest resistance in corn, soybean, wheat, rice and sugarcane.  He served as Vice President of Research and member of the Board of Directors of InterMountain Canola, a joint venture between DuPont and DNA Plant Technology.  Rich has broad experience in international agriculture markets, and has worked in a wide range of economically important crops.  His most recent research involves the discovery and development of microbials that control soil borne pests and improve crop performance and yield.

Day Two

Thursday 21st September, 2017

14.00 | Optimizing the Corn Rhizobiome: Opportunities for Enhancing Crop Productivity

Colin Bell
Co-Founder, Chief Growth Officer
Growcentia Inc.

Colin Bell is the co-founder, co-inventor and Chief Growth Officer at Growcentia. Colin is passionate about science and having fun. He received his PhD. in Biological Sciences specializing in soil microbial ecology and plant-microbe interactions. When he’s not managing operations and co-workers he enjoys getting some fresh air biking, hiking and snowboarding. In fact, when he first moved to Colorado he rode 500 miles over the Rocky Mountains. He’s a funny, easy-going and young-at-heart type of guy that more than anything enjoys teaching and working with the folks at Growcentia.

Day Two

Thursday 21st September, 2017

11.30 | Developing Microbial Biostimulants to Enhance Agricultural Productivity - Promise, Perils and Possibilities

Virginia Ursin
Director, Scientific Collaborations
Indigo

Virginia (Ginni) Ursin is the Director of Scientific Collaborations at Indigo. Indigo is dedicated to developing external partnerships, which accelerate the pace of innovation for the next generation of microbial products. Ginni brings over 25 years of experience in the life sciences. Before joining Indigo, Ginni held a number of roles at Monsanto, where she lead research programs focused on agricultural sustainability. Ginni holds a PhD in Genetics from the University of California, Davis. She has authored 15 peer-reviewed publications and is an inventor on 20 patents.

Day One

Wednesday 20th September, 2017

09.45 | Plant-Microbiome Engineering to Influence Agricultural Practice

Donald Marvin
CEO
Inocucor

Donald R. Marvin is President and CEO of Inocucor, the agriculture biotech company. Inocucor develops sustainable biological products for agriculture that naturally improve crop yields, shorten growing periods and create more resilient soils for farmers and greenhouse growers. He has been a biotechnology entrepreneur and leader in the commercialization of new life sciences diagnostic and research technologies and products for more than 30 years.

Day One

Wednesday 20th September, 2017

08.45 | CEO on a Tightrope: How to Simultaneously Manage Product Development and Commercialization Activities While Pursuing a Major Financing

Tom Snipes
Chief Executive Officer
Plant Response Biotech

Tom is a business graduate from the University of South Carolina. He has over 25 years’ experience in global agriculture across the ag value chain, including crop protection, primary and secondary plant nutrients, specialty products, manufacturing, retail/distribution and business development. Over the last 5 years Tom has worked closely with the agricultural startup and biotech industry in business development roles. He has a passion for the agricultural industry and the new opportunities it is bringing to producers globally.   Tom enjoys travel and recently moved from the US to Madrid to join the Plant Response Team. He also enjoys running, biking as well as coastal boating and fishing with his family.

Day One

Wednesday 20th September, 2017

13.05 | Executing Fast Track Field Trials: Using Natural Origins for Tolerance to Stress

Amit Vasavada
Vice President, R&D
Marrone Bioinnovations

Dr. Amit Vasavada is the Sr. Vice President of R&D and Chief Technology Officer at Marrone Bio Innovations in Davis, California. He received his doctorate degree in Applied Microbiology from University of California, Davis.  Since his doctoral training, he has been involved in Translational R&D, Process Development and Manufacturing of Bio-based products in Agriculture, Industrial and Pharmaceutical sectors.  Prior to Marrone Bio Innovations, he gained valuable experience in biotechnology including Discovery, Synthetic Biology, Fermentation Science, Process Engineering and Manufacturing at industry leaders such as Monsanto, Chiron (Novartis), and Diversa over the last 30 years.  His experience spans utilization of native and recombinant microbes such as yeasts, bacteria, fungi and microalgae for the production of commercially relevant products.  Currently, he leads Marrone BioInnovations’ R&D efforts to discover, develop and deliver smart, natural and sustainable biological pesticides and plant health products as part of the integrated pest management programs for Agriculture.

Day One

Wednesday 20th September, 2017

09.15 | From Freezers to Farm: Advancing Biological Assets to Farmready IPM Solutions

Xuemei Germaine
Chief Executive Officer
Microgen Biotech

Xuemei is the Founder & CEO of MicroGen Biotech – an Irish biotech startup company founded in 2012 that utilizes patented isolation and high-throughput screening methods to isolate functional, high-performance microbiomes for application in agricultural crop production and environmental remediation. Xuemei has a PhD degree in Environmental Biotechnology and has worked in Pfizer for 6 years discovering novel biopharmaceuticals by using ribosome display and microbial high-throughput screening technologies.

Day One

Wednesday 20th September, 2017

16.35 | Using Technology to Liberate the Plant Microbiome in China

Zoe Mckiness
Director, Trait Design and Sciences
Monsanto

Zoe McKiness is currently the Director of Trait Design and Sciences at Monsanto. She received her PhD from Harvard University in 2004 and has worked at Monsanto since 2006.

Day One

Wednesday 20th September, 2017

12.35 | Leveraging Comparative Metagenomics of the Corn and Soy Microbiome to Develop Sustainable Agricultural Solutions

Janne Kerovuo
Vice President, R&D
NewLeaf Symbiotics

Janne is currently the VP of R&D at new leaf symbiotics. Dr. Kerovuo had previously worked at Monsanto where he had been leading the Microbial Discovery Strategy since 2013. He previously headed up Microbial and Agricultural Solutions at Agradis, a spin-off from Synthetic Genomics, a company founded by Craig Venter. He earned a phD in Biochemistry at the University of Helsinki in his native Finland.

Day One

Wednesday 20th September, 2017

11.45 | Methylotrophs for Sustainable Agriculture

Mike McFatrich
Vice President, Business Strategy & Development
NewLeaf Symbiotics

Mike McFatrich is the Vice President for Strategy and Business Development with NewLeaf Symbiotics, located in St. Louis. In his role he is developing the focus and implementing the approach that the company is taking in the commercialization of their unique technology platform which is built around the use of Pink-Pigmented Facultative Methylotrophic bacteria (PPFM bacteria) that are used to complement plant performance. The innovative technology of nutrient enhancing and plant health/crop protection products utilizing the bacteria which occur in nature, augment plant genetics to optimize the performance of crop plants. NewLeaf is concentrating their effort on agronomically important crops as well as a few specialty vegetable crops; delivering the technology to the plant via seed treatment, in-furrow and/or foliar application.

Day Two

Thursday 21st September, 2017

15.30 | Scaling Commercialization of the Microbiome Throughout the World

Jos Raaijmakers
Professor, Head of Microbial Ecology
NIOO-KNAW

Jos Raaijmakers is head of the Microbial Ecology department of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) and Professor at Leiden University, the Netherlands. The research program of his department aims to understand the diversity of microbial communities and microbial activities in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Over the past decade, his research group has focused on how plant-associated microorganisms impact on plant growth, root architecture, plant chemistry and tolerance to (a)biotic stress.

Day One

Wednesday 20th September, 2017

16.05 | Exploring the Plant Microbiome: Beyond “Collecting Stamps”

Ines Marques Nunes
Post-Doctoral Researcher
Novozymes

Ines Nunes is a postdoctoral researcher at Novozymes where she focuses to create a selected pipeline of products that increase crop utilization of nutrients in the soil. Her ongoing projects with the Future Cropping initiative examines their interaction with the crop and with other microbes that exist in and around the plant.

Day Two

Thursday 21st September, 2017

09.30 | Future Cropping: Microbiomics Support Danish Field Trial with Microbial Fertilizers

Gregg Steinberg
CEO
Growcentia Inc.

Gregg Steinberg is Growcentia’s CEO. He has been involved in startups to mature companies and from private to public entities. He has expertise in launching and scaling early stage companies, executing on valuation creation strategies and in raising seed/venture capital. He has been an investor and advisor in numerous companies including retail and commercial CPG product rollouts. He was President of a company that was listed twice in the top 10 of the INC500 and cumulative revenues under his presidency of that organization exceeded $2 billion. He is an active member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO/WPO) and sits on numerous charitable boards, including the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute for Science, The Simon School (Univ. of Rochester) Executive Advisory Board and the Global Institute of Leadership, Tufts University. He is an EIR at the University of Rochester and Co-Managing Director of the Simon School Venture Capital Fund. He received his MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and BSBA from the Univ. of Arizona.

Day Two

Thursday 21st September, 2017

15.00 | Fireside Chat: Integrating Microbials with Standard Agricultural Practice: Meeting Growers’ Needs

Sarah Bloch
Principal Scientist
Pivot Bio

Sarah is currently the Strain Optimization Team Lead at Pivot Bio. Her research  at the University of Minnesota focused on microbial engineering for the production of valuable plant secondary metabolites with limited natural sources. At Pivot Bio, she is developing and implementing a strain optimization technology to improve plant-growth promoting phenotypes in plant associated bacterial strains.

Day One

Wednesday 20th September, 2017

10.15 | ON Technology: Groundbreaking Approach to Nutrient Management

Davide Bulgarelli
Principal Investigator
University of Dundee

Davide is an academic primarily interested in deciphering the molecular interactions between crop plants and the microbiota thriving at the root-soil interface. To study the plant microbiota, his research group uses a broad range of experimental and computational approaches at the cross-roads of different disciplines such as molecular microbiology, plant genetics and bioinformatics. The overall ambition of their investigations is to facilitate the translation of microbiota science from the lab to the field.

Day Two

Thursday 21st September, 2017

11.00 | Structure, Function and Host Control of the Plant Microbiome

Mylavarapu Venkatramesh
Vice President, Research and Development, Biological Crop Nutrition
Agrinos

Mylavarapu Venkatramesh has more than three decades experience in plant pathology, soil microbiology, plant biochemistry and metabolic engineering, including 17 years leading biotechnology discovery research. Prior to joining Agrinos, Dr. Venkatramesh served as the New Technology Leader for the Seeds and Biotechnology Platform at Dow AgroSciences. He has also served in roles across engineering, project management and research and development functions at Exelixis Plant Sciences, Monsanto and Renessen. Dr. Venkatramesh received his Bachelors of Science from Bangalore University followed by a Masters of Science in Botany from Madras University and a Doctor of Philosophy in Botany from S.V. University. Dr. Venkatramesh came to the U.S. for postdoctoral research in plant biochemistry and biotechnology, which included a 2-year visiting scientist position in Germany through an Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation fellowship.

Day One

Wednesday 20th September, 2017

12.15 | Harnessing the Soil-Plant Microbiome to Improve Crop Productivity