This article first appeared in Outlooks on Pest Management, August 2022.
The Annual World BioProtection Summit and Awards saw over 100 people return in a face-to-face capacity for the first time in three years on 23–24 May 2022 at the NEC in Birmingham, UK.
Dr Sarah Harding, Communications Director at the World BioProtection Forum (WBF), welcomed participants and briefly explained the remit and recent achievements of the WBF, one of the organisers of the event. The WBF is a nonprofit organisation founded by Dr Minshad Ansari in 2019 to connect the biocontrol industry and encourage collaboration between industry and academia, with the aim of connecting different stakeholders who can work together to ensure the successful development and commercialisation of biocontrol products. Achievements so far include the recruitment of more than 20 advisors, in addition to the board of directors, to help drive the organisation forwards, successful events, establishment of the Awards programme to cover the scope of biologicals in agriculture and a regulatory reform campaign started in 2021. Dr Harding finished her introduction by thanking the premium sponsors Bionema, gold sponsors Oro Agri, and other sponsors and exhibitors including AEH Innovative Hydrogel, Agri-TechE, AHDB, APIS, Dejex, Evonik, Fera, Koppert, Mathys & Squire, Medinbio, NPP, Sribio, UKRI, Valent BioSciences and Vigna Brasil.
The event was officially opened by Dr Ansari, Founder & Chairman of the WBF, and CEO and Founder of Bionema Limited, who posed the question “Can two days change the trajectory of the biocontrol industry?” Dr Ansari said how delighted he was to see 18 countries represented at the event. The world continues to face unprecedented demands on food security with over $500 billion crop damage caused by pests and diseases annually, and whilst $80 billion is spent on chemical pesticides annually, concerns over the impacts on human health and the environment, especially in the EU is helping drive change such as the proposed 50% reduction in the use of chemical pesticides by 2030 and corresponding desire to increase the land under organic farming. Whilst the WBF is working to drive change, the biocontrol industry in the UK/EU continues to face challenges such as the long and costly regulatory process, higher unit price and limited products in the market slowing the adoption of biopesticides and continued concerns over variable efficacy.
Session 1: The Global Challenges Facing the Biopesticide Industry
Session 2: Innovation – The Solution (Part 1). Innovative Technologies – Products and Services
Session 3: Innovation – The Solution (Part II). Innovative Formulations and Applications
Session 4: Technology Adoption
Session 5: Regulatory Issues
Session 6: Commercialisation Investment and Acceleration
Session 7: Investor Ready Pitch
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