Innovation is at the centre of any biotech industry, but alongside the science of innovation in biocontrol, we must embrace the art of commercialisation – that is, developing products in a way that makes them ready for commercial sales and marketing.
So, how are we embracing commercialisation in biocontrol? And more importantly, what issues do we have to overcome?
Current issues to address
Unfortunately, in the biocontrol sector, it is not uncommon to hear product developers say, “Oh, yes, we know of a solution for this...” or “This bacterium works against that...” but followed by “Oh no, it’s too difficult to get it to market, so we’re not going to develop it.”
At present, there are various hurdles to the development, adoption and use of biocontrol products. These include significant regulatory hurdles, high development and production costs, and a small end market due to lack of awareness, application challenges, and limited understanding of the benefits of using these products in the crop production system.
Solutions to commercialisation in biocontrol
Collaboration with expert biopesticide developers such as Bionema can help innovators to formulate and develop new products in a way that makes them better suited to the market, easier to apply, and less expensive to produce.
For example, Bionema has developed and tested a range of biocompatible additives that can be used within formulations to increase the efficacy of current and future formulations of biopesticides. In addition, Bionema’s own microencapsulation formulation technology IncapsuleX™ increases the efficacy of a base biopesticide product by delivering it in a microcapsule to the insect cuticle – this enhances adhesion and increases persistence on plant surfaces for improved pest and disease control.
Bionema’s other proprietary technologies include MetarForce™, a cost-effective and scalable approach to the manufacture of fungal spores that can be applied in situations where cost, water and cold storage are factors for consideration. Similarly, Bionema’s scientists are developing the cost- and water-efficient nematode manufacturing technology called NemaCad®.
In addition, it is necessary for the industry as a whole to create awareness about the benefits offered by biocontrol products, so growers and farmers are aware of these options, their benefits, and how to use them for optimal outcomes.
Changes within the biopesticides community
A number of trade groups and organisations are already working to achieve this, and we would encourage companies of all sizes to support those organisations and their campaigns.
In particular, new organisations such as the World BioProtection Forum (WBF) have revealed fresh approaches to long-established challenges, such as regulatory reform.
For the first time, it seems that competent authority is on the cusp of making real changes that will benefit the biocontrol sector, thanks to a campaign run by the WBF since 2021.
The development of a regulatory process that nurtures and encourages innovation in biocontrol will allow for faster and less expensive new product approvals, enabling more products to reach commercialisation.
Growing awareness of innovation
The results of successful commercialisation will be a growing awareness of biocontrol products, an improved regulatory system for new product approvals, and improved formulations for production, storage, application and use.
In turn, these successes will drive further funding for more innovative research to come up with even more new technologies that continually improve biocontrol products. In other words, this is just the start of a great new AgriTech revolution – the best is yet to come!
At Bionema, we’re constantly striving to improve biocontrol products, so you can rest assured that when you choose Bionema as your partner, you’ll have access to some of the most innovative solutions – and some of the best solutions for commercialisation – on the market today.