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BioEx 2024 successfully held: Biological innovation leading the way towards sustainable agricultureqrcode

Mar. 20, 2024

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Mar. 20, 2024


Amidst today’s diverse challenges, the innovation of biologicals is becoming a key driver of the sustainable development of agriculture. On 7th and 8th March, 2024, the Novonesis • 5th Biopesticides, Biostimulants and Biofertilizers Summit (BioEx 2024), organized by AgroPages, was held in Shanghai, attracting the presence of more than 400 industry elites from 230 companies across 34 countries and regions. 

An exhibition was held in conjunction with the Summit, with the participation of 17 exhibitors from 9 countries around the world. They are Novonesis, MoonBiotech, Sudislavl Torf, AgriTecno, Dr Knoell Consult, Genolution, Introlab, Kan Biosys, Agronutrition, TBIO CROP SCIENCE, Just Agrotech, Zhejiang Sega Science and Technology, Ginyung Glycolipid, SHANGHAI GALAXY SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION (Unibiobin.com), Long Yeast, Inner Mongolia Lanjing Ecological Technology and Beijing Shengda Borui Technology. 

BioEx 2024 was not only a leading platform for academic exchanges but it was also a key bridge for promoting business cooperation in biological industry. During the two-day summit, industry leaders, such as Novonesis, Bayer CropScience and MoonBiotech, presented their latest innovations and market insights in biological agriculture. At the same time, government representatives from China and Brazil explained their biological agriculture-oriented policies, providing attendees with valuable policy information. In addition, representatives from research institutions, such as the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Indian National Science Academy, shared their latest achievements in specific research areas to jointly highlight the strong development momentum and market potential of biological agriculture.


Eva Hu, General manager at AgroPages (left), and Xiaofeng Ye, Vice President, Planetary Health Biosolutions, APAC, Novonesis (right) addressed the BioEx 2024 conference

Innovative products and business strategies highlights

At BioEx 2024, companies, including Novonesis, Bayer CropScience, MoonBiotech, JBN-naturepower and AgriTecno, presented their innovative products and technologies, which aim to improve the sustainability and efficiency of agricultural production through biological solutions, while reducing negative environmental effects.


Hao Sun, Head of BioAg China, Novonesis and Dr. Wei Li, Chief Scientist BioAg China, Novonesis, presented Novonesis’ latest progress in bio agricultural development, including innovative products in several market segments. Novonesis’ diversified biological product line ranges from microbial agents to signal molecules lipo-chitooligosaccharides (LCO), developed to harness the power of nature to improve crop yield and quality while reducing the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Novonesis’ business strategy focuses on close alignment with the needs of local farmers, as well as on continued investment in environmentally friendly agricultural solutions. Moreover, Novonesis focuses on its global R&D and application network, which encompasses nearly 40 R&D and application centers, a unparalleled library of documented microbial strains and enzymes and ~9,900 patents, ensuring the company’s international market competitiveness and product adaptability.

Weijing Chu, Brand Manager of Crop Efficiency Portfolio, Customer Marketing Department, Bayer Crop Science (China), explained Bayer’s strategy in the field of biologicals, including the in-depth research and development of biocontrol and biostimulant products. Through continuous technological innovation, the company has launched a range of commercialized products, such as Ambition and FLiPPER, which not only improve crop yield and quality, but also reduce environmental impact. Bayer CropScience aims to achieve a compound annual growth rate of 17% in its biological business, to reach sales worth €1.5 billion by 2035. Considering this ambitious goal, Bayer is committed to expanding a world class biological platform with open-innovation, with the aim of collaborating with different partners in the short, medium and long-terms to achieve innovation in agricultural biological. 

At BioEx 2024, MoonBiotech showcased its leading position in microbiome discovery and the industrialization of technologies. MoonBiotech’s R&D platform is called ″Culture to Product,″ which can rapidly facilitate the screening of strains and development of products. Its development process is an entire development process, from microbial culture, screening, fermentation, to formulation development. Dr. Lin Wang, COO of MoonBiotech, presented the company’s core technologies and product lines, including its microbial products for controlling bacterial and fungal diseases, biostimulant products and carbon sequestration microorganisms. Furthermore, MoonBiotech possesses leading formulation innovation technologies, such as the world’s first successfully developed and registered OD formulation of Trichoderma. It is expected to be approved in China in July 2024, while its overseas registration is also in progress. 

Bin Zhu, Technical Director at JBN-naturepower, talked about the company’s several biostimulants that promote crop growth and improve crop stress resistance through the activation of soil microbial. Zhu specifically talked about the research results of JBN-naturepower’s soil improvement and crop growth promotion mechanism related to highly decomposed lowland peat. JBN-naturepower’s patented humic acid extraction technology is based on the safest and most efficient and effective method of extraction of humic acid from raw materials, which breaks down macromolecules into smaller and more easily absorbed molecules. The company’s peat-based humic acid biostimulants have a broad application range and can effectively promote root growth, increase chlorophyll content, and enhance crop yield and quality. 

During the presentation, Luis Galán, Technical Development Director at AgriTecno, highlighted AgriTecno’s business presence in more than 60 countries and the achievement of more than 500 product registrations. Galan said that AgriTecno’s biostimulant products can help crops effectively cope with environmental stress by increasing antioxidant levels in plants to enhance resistance to oxidative stress, as well as to promote root growth and improve root activity to increase plant resilience to water stress. He also gave a detailed introduction to AgriTecno’s advanced technologies used in research and its latest findings. 

Interpretation of bio-product registration policies

Under the context of the sustainable global agricultural development, the industry is now focusing on the policy research, market development and registration of biological products. BioEx 2024 gathered experts from Dr Knoell Consult, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China, Kynetec, Brazil MAPA and AgroPages, who met together to share their insights on the application of agricultural biologicals and microbial technologies, related registration processes, market trends and the policy environment. These discussions offered information for participants to enable them to better understand the industry’s dynamics and seize the opportunities for industry development. 


Dr. Sean McCarthy, Head of Division Regulatory Affairs Crop Protection, Nutrition & Biologicals, Dr Knoell Consult Ltd, explained the EU’s legal definitions of plant protection products and fertilizing products, as well as the meaning of these definitions in practice. He talked about the classification and certification of borderline products in the EU, or products which are difficult to classify as being plant protection products or fertilizing products, as well as about the strict registration requirements for plant protection products in the EU and products with the dual function of plant protection and biostimulation, for which companies must undergo more complex dual function registration process. 

Jun Li, Director of the Microbial Fertilizer and Edible Mushroom Quality Inspection Center, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China, offered an in-depth analysis of the development status and future prospect of China’s microbial fertilizer industry. He also illustrated the significant progress made by China’s microbial fertilizer industry, which was driven by policy support and market demand. Li said that the Chinese government’s regulatory system for microbial fertilizers is gradually improving, such as its product formulation, market supervision and registration management standards. He also affirmed the importance of the research and development of key technologies, such as high-quality strain screening and field effect stability, to the future development of the microbial fertilizer industry.

Lawrence Middler, Senior Analyst at AgbioInvestor, provided an in-depth analysis of the size, growth and key drivers of the global biopesticides and biostimulants market. The biologicals market is currently still small, but is growing much faster than the conventional pesticide market, he said, adding that increased demand for high-quality fruits and vegetables, the stricter regulation of conventional crop protection products and increased awareness of biologicals are the main drivers of the growth of the biologicals market. He also predicted the biostimulant market to continue its robust two-digit market growth in the future.

Peter Chalmers, Senior Partner APAC, AgBioScout, discussed the development status and innovation prospect of global bioherbicides, and highlighted the importance of bioherbicides in the sustainable development of agriculture, as well as the weaknesses of the market, such as limited product variety and unstable efficacy. Chalmers stressed the need to solve these problems through investing in technical innovation and research and development, as well as through sharing key considerations in the bioherbicide R&D process, such as the selection of active ingredients, the use of formulation technology and adjustments to market access strategies. 

Dr. Michał Słota, European Climate Pact Ambassadors, representing Poland, talked about ways of ensuring the nutrient density of food and environmental sustainability while increasing crop production efficiency. He highlighted the importance of the optimized use of agricultural resources and proposed a range of methods and technologies to improve crop yield. Słota also mentioned the function of microbes in agricultural production and how microbial technologies can be utilized to improve soil health and crop nutrition.

Yuhong WU, Director | Crop Subscription Services at Kynetec, offered information on the current status of biological market and marketing proposals in Brazil, as well as detailed data on the Brazilian biopesticide market, such as market size, mainstream product categories and crop distribution. Wu said that although the share of biopesticides in the Brazilian market is small, it is growing rapidly, showing great market potential. She used soybean as an example to prove that Brazil’s soybean planting area treated with biostimulants in 2023 was 39%, an 11% increase over 2020. She also talked about how to promote the application of biopesticides in Brazil through policy support, technical innovation, and market education. 

Alessandro Cruvinel, the coordinator of Brazil MAPA's National Bio-inputs Program, presented the country’s policy, development and innovation for biological inputs. He explained the Brazilian government’s policy framework for encouraging the development of biological agriculture, covering legal support, investment in technical innovation and marketing. Cruvinel also spoke about Brazil’s research outcomes in the field of biopesticides and biostimulants, as well as the international cooperation and localization strategies that help accelerate the process of commercializing these products. 

Eva Hu, General Manager at AgroPages, shared her observations on soil health-oriented biological products and technical innovation, and stressed the importance of soil health in agricultural production, having addressed the current serious problem of soil degradation. Hu gave a detailed introduction to the four principles of soil health and made proposals for soil health restoration. She also talked about the critical role of soil microbes in soil health management and how biotechnology can be utilized to improve soil biodiversity and productivity. Lastly, she gave an analysis of innovative technologies used in soil health management and the product and service competition landscape of the soil health industry. 

Latest research results and findings in biologicals

At the frontier of agricultural science and technology, a series of innovative research results are providing new impetus for the sustainability of agricultural production. BioEx 2024 invited leading scholars and entrepreneurs from the Indian National Science Academy, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhejiang A&F University, GreenLight Biosciences and Innatrix Inc to share their insights on the application of microorganisms, such as Trichoderma, Mycorrhizal Fungi and Bacillus velezensis, in agricultural production, as well as disruptive RNAi technology in pest management. These studies not only reveal the important function of microorganism in agro-ecosystem, but they also provide new directions for the commercialization and business startup strategies for the future of agricultural development. 


Professor Prasun K. Mukherjee, Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy, shared his research on Trichoderma strains for use in fungicides. He spoke about the potential of Trichoderma in controlling various plant pathogens, and its application prospects in the development of biopesticides. Professor Mukherjee also talked about the biological control mechanism of Trichoderma, including fungal parasitism, inducting plant defenses and the production of secondary metabolites. His research offers a scientific basis for the application of Trichoderma in agriculture, which is key to guiding future commercialization. 

Baodong Chen, Professor of the Eco-Environmental Research Center at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, discussed the role of mycorrhizal fungi in managing soil health and crop growth. He explained the importance of the symbiotic relationship between mycorrhizal fungi and plants, noting the key role of mycorrhizal fungi in improving plant nutrient uptake, enhancing stress resistance, and improving soil structure. Professor Chen’s research not only reveals the ecological function of mycorrhizal fungi, but it also provides new insights into the use of mycorrhizal fungi in soil remediation and crop production. 

Huiming Wu, Professor at Zhejiang A&F University, analyzed the effect of Bacillus velezensis and mycorrhizal fungi on crop health. He spoke about the role of these microorganisms in improving crop growth, enhancing disease resistance, and improving the soil environment. Professor Wu’s research highlighted the multiple functions of microorganisms in the agroecosystem. He also shared experimental data on the use of mycorrhizal agents and Bacillus velezensis products on different crops, as well as the functions of these microorganisms in promoting growth, increasing yield and controlling diseases. 

Dr. Shujian Zhang, Head of Bioanalytics at GreenLight Biosciences, discussed the research and business strategies of RNAi biopesticides. He presented the application of RNAi technology in agricultural pest management, stressing on its specificity, high efficiency, and environment friendliness. Dr. Zhang also demonstrated the company’s RNA product commercialization capability, beginning from R&D, field trial, regulatory submission, product development, up to manufacturing, sales, and marketing. 

Dr. Jiarui Li, CEO at Innatrix Inc, shared his entrepreneurial journey from scientist to entrepreneur. He talked about the key resources required by start-ups in the agricultural biological sector, covering human resources and core product and technologies. Dr. Li highlighted the key factors for success in the field of biological agriculture, including technical innovation, market research and product positioning. His presentation provided participants with valuable entrepreneurial experience, which is an inspiration for biological startups. 

Dr. Holly Little, Director of R&D at Acadian Plant Health, said the bio stimulatory effect of seaweed extract is not due to the presence of plant hormones but is caused by changes in plants’ vivo hormone levels and metabolic processes. Different seaweed raw materials and different processing technologies can produce different extract compositions leading to different mechanisms of action, therefore, the research findings of one seaweed extract may not apply to other products, she added. 

Practical experiences sharing

In today’s general trend of pursuing sustainable agriculture, many agrotech companies are adopting innovative practices to constantly promote revolutionary agricultural production. BioEx 2024 brought together leading biological agricultural practitioners, such as Corteva, Bioglobal, TBIO CROP SCIENCE, Acadian Plant Health and Yara, who shared their rich experiences and cutting-edge technologies in crop protection, precision farming, biotechnology, crop nutrition solutions, and integrated agricultural services. These hands-on cases not only demonstrated the great potential of technologies to improve agricultural productivity and environmental sustainability, but they also provided participants with valuable industry insights and innovative ideas. 


Prameet Kamat, Commercial Director, APAC, Corteva Biologicals at Corteva Agriscience, presented details on the application of Utrisha N on potato fields and its application practices in Australia, revealing a more than 5% yield increase from the Utrisha-treated field. Antonis Angeletakis, Director Biostimulants at Yara International, said biostimulants are essential agri-inputs for the future of agriculture, and his company has launched the new biological brand, Amplix, to shape the future of biostimulants, therefore, giving back more than taking. Min Su, CEO of Bioglobal, highlighted the company’s leading position in researching kairomone, having demonstrated the excellent effect of its product, BIOATTRACT, when applied with chlorantraniliprole (1%-2% of traditional amount). 

The efficacy of biologicals is inseparable from the selection of adjuvants and optimization of formulations. Dr. Ritu Ahuja, Regional Technical Manager, Agricultural Specialties, APAC, Novecare GBU at SYENSQO (Former a part of Solvay), showcased a range of adjuvant solutions for improving the stability and shelf life of biologicals. The company’s AgRHEA™ OD-EASY and DV AgRHEA™ 066 can extend shelf life, improve operability, and ensure microbial activity. Alejandro Aliaga, Technical application manager at Borregaard, presented the company’s innovative lignosulfonate-based biopolymers and cellulose fibrils, which are used against UV and rain wash. 

Wenbo Wang, General manager at Hubei Danneng Agricultural Biotechnology, described the application of the company’s agricultural microbial agent, Priestia Filamentosa, which can inhibit the loss of nitrogen fertilizer in the soil, improve the efficacy of nitrogen fertilizer use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Jannet Li, Technical Manager at Just Agrotech, gave a detailed introduction to the company’s soil activating agent, Enzyactiver, which utilizes the BAT bio-activating technique and uses nine synergistic probiotics derived from nature to activate soil microorganisms and improve soil conditions, therefore, enhancing the health and yield of crops. Leiting Tong, Executive director at Xian Tbio Crop Science, talked about the product, HUMICA, which can significantly improve the expression of key genes for a variety of calcium signaling path in plants, such as calmodulin and CDPK, therefore, improving plant resistance to stress. 


Roundtable: What do marketing challenges and practical experiences tell us about the future of biologicals?

During the event’s roundtable, its guests had an in-depth discussion on ″How far off is the spring of biological industry? What are the difficulties and opportunities in the marketing of biological products?″

As the moderator, Eva Hu firstly gave a briefing on the background and purpose of the round table discussion, which stressed the importance of the bio-industry. The participating experts were invited to share examples and their expertise in promoting the development of agricultural biologicals.


Roundtable discussion at BioEx 2024

Jun Li, as a representative of the industry’s administration, shared the development history of microbial fertilizers in China, stating that 1997 and 2009 were important turning points in the Chinese biological industry. He also highlighted the application potential of microbial fertilizers in agriculture and their importance to improving agricultural production efficiency and environmental conservation. Jun Li believes that the issues facing the development of microbial fertilizers include market planning, serious product homogenization and cost. He predicts that the next 5 to 10 years will be a new era in the development of biologicals.

Hao Sun, on behalf of Novonesis, talked about the company’s development history and strategic positioning in biological agriculture. Novonesis is committed to providing innovative bio-farming technologies to help growers increase profitability, Sun added, noting that the bio-agriculture industry started relatively late, but Novonesis expects to assume more responsibilities in China’s agricultural market development. He also affirmed the importance of product screening and the need for the Chinese market to adapt to related challenges, including regulatory administration, cultural differences and plantation habits.

Jiarui Li, CEO of Innatrix Inc, shared his entrepreneurial journey that began as a scientist and later focused on development of biocontrol pesticides using peptide and RNAi technologies. He also highlighted the importance of human resources while speaking about the challenges facing the product development process, such as regulatory administration, cost and product stability. 

Dong Chen, Executive Director at Golden Farm, discussed the issues facing the launch of biological products in the Chinese market. He stressed the importance of technical service and understanding biological products from different markets. Chen believes that these challenges require systematic and ecological solutions, and appealed to leading companies to correctly promote biological products, and to national administrations to provide more scientific guidance and supervision.

During the panel discussion, its participants reached consensus that the bio-industry is currently in a stage of rapid development but still faces many challenges. They also highlighted the importance of technical innovation, product differentiation, cost control, market education and policy support, and expressed an optimistic view about the future development of the bio-industry, hoping to work together to achieve its sustainable development.

Lastly, Hu invited the guests to summarize their expectations for the future development of biological agriculture in one line. Jun Li expects the market recognition of products to achieve win-win results for all parties. Hao Sun hopes that enterprises would assume more responsibilities in promoting the sound and healthy development of the bio-industry. Jiarui Li is looking forward to the reduction of the production cost of biological products. Chen would like to see the exemplary role of leading enterprises in the industry, as well as scientific guidance from national industry administrations. 

Launching ceremony of the ″Global Industry Map of Soil Health Innovation Power″: A shared commitment

As BioEx 2024 came to its climax, the launching ceremony of the ″Global Industry Map of Soil Health Innovation Power″ was held. This initiative aims to bring together the world’s innovative players in agricultural science and technology to jointly promote scientific research and practical application related to soil health management. At the launching ceremony, representatives of participating enterprises and organizations issued a joint declaration, pledging to devote themselves to the protection and improvement of soil health and contribute to the sustainable development of global agriculture through scientific and technical innovation and international cooperation.


Launching ceremony of the ″Global Industry Map of Soil Health Innovation Power″ at BioEx 2024

See you at BioEx 2025

With the successful conclusion of BioEx 2024, we not only witnessed the most significant progress in the development of biological agriculture, but we also felt the joint commitment and expectations of the global agricultural science and technology community towards the industry’s development in the future. During the summit, we have heard the voices of business leaders, policy researchers, academic experts, and industry observers, who, from different perspectives, created a blueprint for the future innovation and dynamics of biological agriculture. See you at BioEx 2025, where we will again share our achievements and dreams.


A glance at the BioEx 2024 exhibition

BioEx 2025 is now in preparation, and you are welcome to consult and collaborate with us!

微信图片_20240320114634.jpgChristina Xie
Email: christina@agropages.com
Mobile (WeChat/WhatsApp): +86 18806513367

Source: AgroNews


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