About Us

Who we Are

The World BioProtection Forum (WBF) is an international platform for addressing challenges of the new world order. In a post-Brexit, post-COVID world, with rising power and opportunities in the Asia-Pacific, the WBF stands for encouraging collaboration between the biocontrol industry, academia and public sector in the AgriTech sector.

 

WBF connects innovators, entrepreneurs, researchers, manufacturers, distributors, NGOs and public offices relevant to the biocontrol sector, with a view to nurturing scientific and technological innovations and maximising their commercial potential.

Our members include

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Investors
  • Innovators
  • Start-ups
  • SMEs
  • Multinationals
  • Leading academic institutions
  • Research organisations
  • Biological control research organisations

We want to help our sector to take advantage of the opportunities offered by Brexit and recent changes in the balance of global power. The WBF is at the forefront of the collaboration between industry and academia throughout the world, helping to connect researchers, business leaders, customers and investors, in order to turbo-charge innovation, commercialisation and uptake of bioprotection products in a real green revolution.

Our Mission

Worth around $3.0 billion in 2018 and projected to reach $10.0 billion by 2025, the global bioprotection market was showing an annual growth rate of 15-18% before the COVID pandemic.

 

Underlying this growth were numerous factors that have only recently started to be recognised and discussed, such as an urgent need to “fill the gaps” in the market due to removal of synthetic pesticides.

However, the COVID pandemic affected all areas of scientific research. Biopesticide developers have been impacted by restrictions on practical research and funding, which have only added to pre-existing obstacles of regulatory hurdles, commercial uptake and formulation challenges. On the other hand, COVID apparently led to surging consumer demand for organic produce with no chemical residues and, in the wake of Brexit, the UK government has declared a commitment to support science and technology, and an intention to expand partnerships across the globe.

The WBF engages with top-class academics and researchers, linking them with the biocontrol industry to facilitate innovation and commercialisation. We also undertake the task of leading a dialogue with the UK government, to drive reform in matters most important to our members. For example, industry collaboration can help educational institutes to resolve IP issues. The WBF actively encourages key regulators, policy makers, investors, environmentalists, and government organisations globally to work together.

Our mission is to bridge the gap between academia and industry globally, and to ensure the successful development and commercialisation of biocontrol products, by helping our members to overcome challenges and leverage opportunities in a post-COVID, post-Brexit new world order.

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What We Do

The WBF was founded in 2019 by Dr Minshad Ansari – a scientist who become entrepreneur – to encourage the successful development and commercialisation of novel biological control products for agricultural pests and diseases. Leveraging new technologies and an extensive global network of academics, companies, institutions and advisers.

We are committed to encouraging collaboration across all players in the biocontrol sector – from multinationals to the smallest entities – to ensure those innovations worthy of success are not impeded by structural barriers. By connecting the best minds in research with the best brains in business, we believe that the time has come for biocontrol products to take their place at the forefront of the crop protection industry.

To take full advantage of these opportunities, become a member or explore our benefits of membership.

We aim to:

Encourage collaborations between academia and industry for research and commercialisation

Advance the development of next-generation formulation and delivery systems to improve efficacy

Support innovators and entrepreneurs in their efforts to raise investment for product development and commercialisation

Influence policy makers in the UK to create a post-Brexit regulatory environment that nurtures and supports our sector

Meet The Team

The WBF is administered by the Management Committee, which currently comprises two Officers: Chairman and Communications Director.

Dr Minshad A Ansari

Founder and Chairman

Minshad is the Chairman of WBF. He is passionate about developing and commercialising natural bioproducts to protect crops from pests and diseases, reducing the use of synthetic pesticides, enhancing food security and increasing crop yields. Minshad has >20 years of experience in developing and launching bioprotectors in AgriTech sector, having published >70 research publications in international journals and received many prestigious business innovation awards. He is the Founder and CEO of Bionema, a bioprotectant technology company.

Dr Sarah Harding

Communication Director

Sarah joined the WBF in August 2019 as Communications Director.

With a PhD in Plant Pathology from the University of Birmingham (UK), and more than 20 years in scientific communications and publishing, Sarah has extensive experience in communicating about research and business in many scientific areas but admits to a particular passion for furthering the interests of the bioprotection sector.

The WBF is steered by an Advisory Committee, which currently comprises five Advisors from the bioprotection sector.

Dr Venkatesh Devanur

CEO,
Agri Life, India

Following a career in the Agro Division of Sandoz, and Gujarat Agro Industries Corporation Ltd,  Dr Devanur founded SOM Phytopharma (India) Limited to manufacture technical grade pesticides. In 2003 he founded Agri Life, discontinued manufacturing chemical pesticides and started manufacturing biopesticides, biofertilizers and bio-agri inputs. Led by Dr Devanur, Agri Life is now a premier biopesticide company that exports biopesticides and biofertilizers to many countries. reflecting his devotion to the biopesticide and biofertilizer industry, Dr Devanur has been Secretary  of BIPA (Bio-Agri Inputs Producers Association of India) for the past 6 years.  Thanks to his efforts and foresight, BIPA is now one of the leading Associations of biopesticide Industry.

Professor Ralf-Udo Ehlers

Founder, E-nema GmbH

Professor Ehlers is a renowned scientist who is deeply engaged in European bioprotection research projects. He Founded E-nema in 2012 to produce nematodes and microorganisms for pest control. In 2020, he won the IBMA Bernard-Blum Award for Most Innovative Biocontrol Product.

Dr Stephen Ford

Dr Stephen Ford

Founder,
Ecolibrium Biologicals

Dr Ford is the founder of Ecolibrium Biologicals, a multi award winning agri-biotech company based in Auckland, New Zealand, with a global perspective on the provision of sustainable pest control solutions in agriculture and horticulture. Stephen is a Plant Pathologist specializing in Mycology and Metabolomics. In 2004 he founded one of New Zealand’s leading Agri Biotech companies, leading the development of a novel systemic biological insecticide recently sold to the global agri-pesticides market leader. Stephen is a Winner of Auckland Universities prestigious Entrepreneurs Challenge, a recipient of an NZ Bio Award and a Finalist in the Bayer NZ Innovators Awards.

Dr KRK Reddy

Founder, Sri Biotech Laboratories India

Dr Reddy started Sri Biotech Laboratories India in1994 ( now acquired by an Italian company) to develop safe, green, practical alternatives for crop nutrition and protection. Under his leadership, the company has received several National and International grants to establish collaborative research under public-private partnerships, and he has filed several patents.

Prof Shashi Sharma

Adjunct Professor,
Murdoch University

During the last 40 years of his international career, Professor Sharma has served as a scientist, science leader, coordinator, policy maker, manager, program leader and director of a diversity of programs focusing on plant and environment health, food security, market access and trade. Positions that he has held include: Professor and Chair in Biosecurity and Food Security at Murdoch University, Australia; Director and Chief Plant Health Manager at the Department of Agriculture and Food, Government of Western Australia; Founder Co-Director of Australia-China Centre for Abiotic and Biotic Stress Management in Agriculture, Horticulture and Forestry, a joint centre of the Murdoch University and the Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University, China; Professor and Head of the Division of Nematology, the largest nematology centre in the world at the Indian Agriculture Research Institute, New Delhi; and Scientist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics. He has more than 215 publications, and is recipient of several awards and fellowships, including fellowship of the National Academy of Sciences, India.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors will be elected at the Annual General Meeting. All Members of the WBF will be eligible to apply for, and vote for, positions on the Board of Directors:

  • President
  • Vice President
  • A maximum of eight other Members.

Members shall have a term of two years at the end of which period they may stand for re-election for further periods of two years. Nominations to serve on the Board of Directors should be made in writing by Members to the Secretary General prior to the AGM.

Members must be willing to attend Board meetings (up to three per year), which may take place via webinar in order to:

  • Offer guidance on programme and agenda of the Annual Biopesticide Summit
  • Vote for winners of the Biopesticide Awards (part of the Annual Biopesticide Summit)
  • Guide the activities of the WBF in a manner that benefits its Members.

To nominate a Member for a position on the Board of Directors, please email wbf@worldbioprotectionforum.com with the Subject Heading “Nomination for Board of Directors”

Code of Conduct

All Members are asked to sign up to the WBF rules and code of conduct. In summary, Members agree to:

SUPPORT THE WBF IN ITS MISSION TO:

  • Build bridges between academia and industry by encouraging collaborations that will further research and business development.
  • Encourage the development of next-generation formulation and delivery systems for improved efficacy.
  • Educate innovators and entrepreneurs about raising investment for start-ups and SMEs, while working to create more general investor interest in this sector.

BEHAVE IN A MANNER THAT FURTHERS THE INTERESTS OF THE BIOPROTECTION INDUSTRY.

Members will not engage in any anti-competitive behaviour and will not take part in any discussions regarding price levels, discounts, territories or any other issues aimed at restricting fair and legal development of the bioprotection industry.

In the event that a Member or Applicant fails to meet the standards of conduct expected by the WBF, the Member shall be notified of these deficiencies in writing by the Forum. A Member may be expelled for violation of the rules of membership as described in this document.

All members must agree to behave in a manner that furthers the interests of the bioprotection industry