Green biotechnology company Agrosavfe attracts investors
Biotechfonds Vlaanderen the Flemish biotechnical fund, PMV Participatiemaatschappij Vlaanderen, the Flemish government’s independent investment company, the investment company Gimv and the farmers’ union Boerenbond via Gimv-Agri+ Investment Fund and a few more stakeholders have made investments in the so-called green biotechnology company Agrosavfe. Green biotechnology, as opposed to ‘red’ biotechnology which is focused on drugs and applications for humans, focuses on the improvement of plants and fruit. Flanders so far launched a number of thriving businesses under the green branch of biotechnology, with the most prominent among them PGS Plant Genetic Systems, CropDesign and rice specialist DevGen. Even though they have all been taken over, they are still active in Ghent. Like CropDesign and DevGen, Agrosavfe is also a product of the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology VIB. Building on the work of Peter Verheesen and his research team at the Free University of Brussels, Agrosavfe developed a generic methodology to drastically reduce the use of pesticides and make them more effective and targeted. With the knowledge clustered in the VIB and businesses like PGS, CropDesign and DevGen, Agrosavfe has a sound foundation to make tracks in this field. Entrepreneur Rudi Mariën, who has also invested in DevGen in the past, will join the first Agrosavfe capital round. He recently made the headlines when his investment along with those made by KBC and Jos Sluys in the ’red biotechnology company’ PharmaNeuroBoost went up in smoke, as PNB failed to deliver successful research results. As a consequence there is no more future for the Limburg-based PNB. “It is a typical feature of the biotechnology industry that not everything succeeds,” said Mariën about the failure.