Inaugural Bernard Blum Award for Novel Biocontrol Solutions
Goes to US Company Vestaron Corp
October 19, 2015
The US company Vestaron Corporation is the winner of the inaugural Bernard Blum Award. The award ceremony took place on Monday 19th October in Basel, Switzerland, at the opening ceremony of the annual ABIM Congress, the largest Biopesticide industry gathering in the world. The Bernard Blum award was created by IBMA in memory of the association founding father Bernard Blum whom the award and trophy is dedicated to in this 20th anniversary of the formation of IBMA as an association. Dr Robert Kennedy, Chief Scientific Officer at Vestaron Corp, received the award from the hands of Dr Willem Ravensberg, President of IBMA.
Vestaron Corporation is a leader in the development and marketing of safe and effective bioinsecticides derived from naturally occurring peptides. The company got the award for its Spear product line (GS-omega/kappa-Hxtx-Hv1a) a series of bioinsecticides derived from spider peptides with activity on lepidoptera and coleoptera. The Spear product line also uses the addition of Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) to improve performance as a part of an integrated pest management system.
There were thirteen entries for this inaugural award. The judges panel, headed by Dr. Owen Jones, a former President of IBMA responsible for Global Strategy at Suterra LLC until 2012, now an independent Consultant at Lisk & Jones in the UK, were unanimous in support of the 3 shortlisted entries and also on the ranking of the top three: In addition to the winner Vestaron, the company DCM & De Ceuster (Belgium) was ranked number 2 with its product PMV-01, a microbials based plant vaccine to control Pepino mosaic virus in tomatoes (active against Pepino mosaic virus Strain CH2) and Belgium’s Biobest was ranked number 3 for its “Flying Doctors”, a biocontrol delivery service combining pollination and disease management by the use of bumblebees charged with the Prestop 4B product.