The new location is to help Bee Vectoring Technologies expand into the European market.
Canadian company Bee Vectoring Technologies (BVT), that offers a bee-based inoculation service, announced the opening of its new European office in Switzerland’s Agri & Co Innovation Center, where the company joins other innovative organizations in the country’s ag-tech community. The move is part of BVT’s award in the Agri & Co Challenge.
The new location is designed to help BVT continue its innovation in biological crop protection delivery systems. It includes a fully-equipped laboratory, growth chambers, greenhouse space for trialing (starting in spring 2020), and 95 hectares of land leased to a local grower who will host trials in his fields, as well as office space.
In addition, BVT will receive the full support of Agri & Co staff and the Swiss canton of Fribourg’s state government, access to experts in various fields, as well as facilitated R&D collaborations with other ag-tech innovators.
“This is now our regional base for piloting and commercializing our natural precision agriculture technology in Europe. The goal of the BVT Europe office is to coordinate registration efforts across Europe, Africa and the Middle East (EAME), enable partnership conversations and develop our go-to-market strategy with our North American head office,” says Christoph Lehnen, BVT’s Business Manager for EAME.
“As soon as we have Swiss regulatory approval, which we anticipate this year, we will start establishing commercial deals with Swiss growers and gain valuable experience for an eventual launch across Europe.”
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BVT says it’s strategically beneficial for the company to have a presence in the Agri & Co Innovation Center. The vision for the Center is to become the Swiss – and potentially even a European – hub for the Agri, Food and Nutrition industry, with a number of startups already in place and more companies in talks to occupy a portion of the newly refurbished space.
“Consumer pressure against pesticides is significant in the European market,” continued Mr. Lehnen. “The European Union (EU) and Switzerland recently banned Chlorothalonil1, one of the world’s most common pesticides, which means another one of very few available contact fungicides is off the market. Growers have access to fewer and fewer tools to manage their crops, while resistance to fungicides is increasing. It’s a perfect entry point for crop protection alternatives, like BVT, that are effective and meet strict environmental requirements.”