Exosect's Chief Technology Officer addresses UK government on significance of microbial formulation project

Dr. Aoife Dillon addresses UK government policy makers on significance of microbial use in crop protection
7 February 2017

Winchester, UK – Today, Exosect’s Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Aoife Dillon, addressed UK government policy makers on the future direction of Crop Protection and the important role the Agricultural Technologies Strategy plays in growing the UK’s innovation and knowledge base in this sector.

At the Westminster Food & Nutrition Forum held today in Central London, policy makers, implementers and stakeholders came together to discuss the next steps for the UK’s Agri-Tech strategy. Providing context to discussions, Dr. Dillon described one of Exosect’s microbial formulation projects which is funded by the Agri-Tech Catalyst.

Exosect is currently developing an innovative formulation of insect virus using its proprietary Lean Formulation platform, Entostat®. Virus rapidly degrades under UV levels observed in field situations and frequently becomes ineffective within seventy-two hours of application. The aim of this project is to develop an Entostat formulation which will provide UV protection and increase longevity of the virus in the field. The project is being carried out in collaboration with Professor Kenneth Wilson of the Lancaster Environment Centre at Lancaster University and Principal Scientist David Grzywacz of the National Resource Institute at the University of Greenwich, both experts in the field of insect viruses.

Dr. Dillon explained the significance of this project, “In 2015, biopesticide sales were estimated to be worth around $3 billion1, 2,5% of the global pesticide market2, viruses represent approximately 10% of this3. The small market size for virus products is a reflection of the formulation challenge that virus presents”. Dillon continued, “The use of living organisms in crop protection such as fungi, viruses, bacteria and even RNAi will change the face of agriculture. These technologies are highly specific and ultimately will enable crop protection companies to reduce synthetic chemistry. Currently, successfully delivering living material is a key challenge for the agrochemical sector, funding from Innovate UK enables Exosect to continue to make formulation breakthroughs in this area which in turn will provide solutions for the global agricultural industry".

Exosect web link: https://www.exosect.com/news/news-detail.aspx?id=112