About Us

Who we Are

The World BioProtection Forum (WBF) is a non-profit organisation that encourages collaboration between the biocontrol industry, academia and public sector. We believe that connecting different stakeholders can address many of the challenges that affect the industry, and will ensure the successful development and commercialisation of biocontrol products.

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

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. 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.

 

 

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What We Do

We are committed to encouraging collaboration across all players in the biocontrol sector to create an environment in which those innovations worthy of success are not impeded by practical or regulatory 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. Our annual meeting (the BioProtection Summit) gathers stakeholders from across the sector, allowing them to meet and discuss new concepts and solutions that will advance research and commercialisation.

We also believe that, in light of recent announcements from the UK government pertaining to their support for green technologies and their willingness to consider changes in the regulatory system, now is the time to push for regulatory form for bioprotection products. We are driving a lobbying campaign on behalf of the bioprotection industry to encourage these reforms – first in the UK, and then in the EU and other parts of the world.

Our members are in a prime position to benefit from these events and activities. 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

Encourage different stakeholders to work together to address challenges and advance the biocontrol industry

Meet The Team

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

Minshad-Ansari

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.

Sarah Harding photo

Dr Sarah Harding

Communications 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.

Laura Air

Laura Air

Relationship Manager

Laura joined WBF in 2021 as Relationship Manager.

She brings to the organisation over 20 years’ experience in stakeholder engagement and internal communications and has a keen interest in sustainability.

Board of Directors

Minshad-Ansari

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.

shashi_sharma

Prof Shashi Sharma

President

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.

Professor Zhibing Zhang

Vice President

Professor Zhang has built an international reputation for developing original work on micromanipulation of single micro-/nanoparticles and encapsulation/bioencapsulation with applications in chemical, food, nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, household care and human/oral care industries.

Professor Zhang is a member of the Editorial Boards of the  Journal of Microencapsulation and Artificial Cells, Blood Substitutes and Biotechnology, Senior Editor of Cogent Engineering (Chemical Engineering), EPSRC Peer Review College and Engineering Panel, an Overseas Assessor of Chinese Academy of Sciences, an Accreditation Assessor and member of Education and Accreditation Forum of IChemE.

He has authored and co-authored 148 journal papers and 284 other publications (refereed conference papers, book chapters, conference presentations, 9 patents, etc).

Advisory Committee

Dr Owen Jones

Managing Director and Partner
at Lisk & Jones Consultants Ltd

Dr Owen Jones is a partner in the consultancy company Lisk & Jones Consultants Ltd that specialises in life-science technologies. He advises clients on technology issues related to semiochemicals, microbial products, biostimulants and plant-derived products.

Prior to his semi-retirement in 2012 he was responsible for Global Strategy at Suterra LLC and was based at AgriSense BCS Ltd, a company which he helped establish in 1984 to develop and commercialise insect monitoring and control systems based on pheromones.

Owen was President of the International Biocontrol Manufacturers’ Association (IBMA) for two years until December 2012, and on the board of IBMA for 5 years prior to that. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society of London since 1978, an Honorary Professor in the School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, and an Honorary Fellow of Bangor University.

Kellye Eversole

President of Eversole Associates and Executive Director of the International Alliance for Phytobiomes Research

Kellye Eversole is a pioneer in agricultural genomics, biotechnology, and the development of pre-competitive, public-private agricultural research. Since 1994, she has led international consortia and projects to obtain reference genome sequences for agriculturally important crop, livestock, and poultry species. She leads the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium, the international, public-private consortium that obtained the reference sequence of the bread wheat genome, and, since 2016, the International Alliance for Phytobiomes Research which is pioneering a holistic, systems approach to understanding the complex interactions between the biological and geophysical components of agricultural production systems and support the development of novel, site specific products for enhanced sustainability. In addition to her work in genomics and convergent systems, Kellye advises public and private entities on regulations related to agricultural biotechnology/genetic engineering, microbial products, and plant protection products. She is a faculty affiliate in the Ag Biology Department at Colorado State University and is on the scientific advisory board for Trace Genomics. She was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for her work in plant and microbial genomics and has published widely in top tier journals including multiple articles in Science and Nature. 

Passionate about innovation for societal benefits, increased diversity in STEM, and giving back to society through volunteering, Kellye mentors entrepreneurs from emerging economies who are launching science and technology based businesses, serves on the advisory board for Zaidi-STEM (a nonprofit organization supporting STEM innovation and mentoring for girls in Sub-Saharan Africa) and the advisory board for Women in the Enterprise of Science and Technology (WEST), and founded in 1998 the Women in Genomics networking group. She is also a member of the Arlington Diversity Task Group and an active participant in anti-racist activities in Massachusetts. 

Kellye grew up in Oklahoma in a farming and ranching family. This early agricultural foundation led her to pursue a career of service in support of the agricultural enterprise. She founded Eversole Associates in 1991 following years of professional training in political science and philosophy (Oklahoma State University, George Washington University, and Georgetown University), working as a professional staff member in the US Senate, and leading a Federal study commission. She co-owns a farm in southwestern Oklahoma.

Keith Matthews

Wiley Rein, LLP, Washington, D.C

Keith Matthews has practiced environmental law focussing on the regulation of chemicals and genetically engineered organisms for over 20 years. He has practiced in the private sector, and for over 13 years was a staff attorney and Assistant General Counsel in the Office of General Counsel at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He then served for four years as the Director of the Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division (BPPD) in EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP). Now, as Of Counsel with Wiley Rein LLP, his practice focuses on the regulation of chemical products, including biotechnology products regulated by EPA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Keith counsels and advises his clients using his breadth of knowledge on a variety of statutes, including the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and the Plant Protection Act.

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 TM Manjunath

Consultant on Biocontrol
Agri-biotechnology and IPM

Dr Manjunath is a versatile agricultural entomologist with over five decades of research and executive experience in biological control, biopesticides, pheromones, IPM, insect resistant transgenic Bt-cotton and other related areas of plant protection. Starting his career in 1961, he initiated work in these areas at a time when these were barely explored, relentlessly worked to popularize them, and made several pioneering contributions. He is hailed as one of the pioneers of biological control of crops pests, “The Father of Commercial Biocontrol and IPM in India,” a champion of Bt-cotton, and a passionate promoter of environment-friendly IPM throughout his long career.

He is an author of over 135 technical papers and 6 books and has delivered innumerable lectures at national and international symposia, schools and colleges, and farmers’ forums. He has served and continues to serve on several technical committees constituted by international and national organization such as FAO, WHO, ICAR, DBT, Agricultural and other universities. 

Dr Manjunath has served in the following organizations: Entomologist, Commonwealth Institute of Biological Control, Indian Station, 1961-1976;  Entomologist, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru, 1976-81;  Vice President, Bio-Control Research Laboratories, Pest Control India Limited, Bengaluru, 1981-1997; Director, Monsanto Research Centre, Bengaluru, 1998-2004; and from 2004, post-retirement, as an independent Consultant on Biocontrol, Agri-biotechnology and IPM. He continues to be as active as evers.

Dr Venkatesh Devanur

CEO,
Agri Life

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.

Dr Willem Ravensberg

Corporate Sr Regulatory and Governmental Affairs Manager, Koppert Biological Systems

Dr Ravensberg began work in 1981 at Koppert BV, then a small producer of natural enemies for greenhouse pests. He established the R&D Department and, with the team, selected and developed a range of natural enemies. In 1999, he headed the newly established R&D Dept Microbials, and this new team accomplished the development of a novel fungicide, Enzicur. The company’s first patent was obtained on this work, with Dr Ravensberg as one of the inventors.

Dr Ravensberg’s experience and expertise in registration affairs has been built over 30 years. He has been an active member of Artemis, a Dutch (Belgian) association of biocontrol producers and distributors, from its foundation in 1994 (Board member since 2011). He has also participated in many IBMA working groups, has been a member of the Regulatory Affairs Advisory Group since 2008, and a member of the Executive Committee since 2009. From 2013 – 2018 he served as President of IBMA. He also represents his company in BPIA and is a member of the BPIA’s Government Affairs Group since 2011.

Dr Ravensberg has published over 80 scientific publications and book chapter on biocontrol including his book based on his PhD thesis and some papers on registration issues meant to help applicants and evaluators in the evaluation of microbial plant protection products.

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 KRK Reddy

Founder,
Sri Biotech Laboratories

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.

Dr Praharaju Laxminarayana

Founder & Managing Director, A G Bio Systems Private Limited

With 41 years’ experience in biopesticides and agrochemicals, Mr. Praharaju  Laxminarayana is a specialist in Agro Input marketing, in particular Integrated Pest Management and Integrated Nutrient Management & Organic farming. He is currently Managing Director of Ag Bio Systems Pvt Ltd, India.

He has worked/working for or associated with (as business associate or in a consultancy role) a number of national and international companies, such as Sumitomo Chemical, Koppert
Biological Systems, ATGC Biotech, Agri Life, Ecobiocides, Neelagreeva and Jyotridraditya. Recent positions include Chairman of the Bioproducts Research Consortium (ICRISAT, Hyderabad), Vice President of the South Asian Society for Promotion of Pheromone Technology (SASAPPT), Vice President Bioagri Input Producers Association (BIPA), President World Bio Protection Forum, India Chapter and Project coordinator of DBT BIRAC (New Delhi) Project on Myco Herbicides. He holds  membership to numerous industry groups and is a regular contributor to national and international academic conferences.

He was also a Director on the Board of State Bank of Hyderabad (now merged into the State Bank of India) from 2003 – 2007.

Praharaju Laxminarayana regularly lectures/talks on agricultural biotechnology, with special reference to biological disease, Weed and pest management, at several Conferences, NGOs and government bodies. He has guided many graduate and post graduate students,encouraging younger generations to embrace the values of green AgriTech and itsfuture potential.

Mr Deepak Singhal

President International Business, IPL Biologicals Limited

Mr. Singhal is President – International Business with IPL biologicals Limited, the world technology leader in biological agri-inputs. In his 11 years of association with IPL, he has been responsible for turning it into a technology powerhouse renowned for innovation, high quality products, and customer solution-provider.

A Mechanical Engineer from Birla Institute of Technology, and MBA from IIM-Ahmedabad, Deepak Singhal has over 35 years of diverse industry experience. He is an inorganic value creator and has been involved in transforming numerous businesses through inorganic growth, turn-arounds/re-structuring, M&A, JV, new projects, and implementing business excellence. He has exceptional skill in diagnosis and developing strategy, and has transformed inefficient organizations into dynamic market leaders.

While his functional grounding is in International Business and Strategy, he has managed complex multi-company, multi-JV, multi-location Businesses as CEO / MD. He has experience in a number of industries such as healthcare, pharma, biotech, and also earlier in automobile, engineering, telecom, IT, steel, and financial services with some of the most dynamic companies in India and overseas.

 

He has extensive international hands-on experience across the globe in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa.

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 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 BioProtection Summit
  • Vote for winners of the BioProtection Awards (part of the Annual BioProtection 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 sarah.harding@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