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Advances in Breeding for Agriculture – New Tools for New Solutions

Thursday 23rd September @ 1:30 pm - 5:00 pm

The much-anticipated findings from the recent government consultation on genetic technologies are due soon. The current legislation dates from before the human genome was sequenced in 2003, and our understanding of metabolic pathways has increased significantly since that time. As a result there is a lack of clarity in the regulations.

Reforms to legislation that reflect the diversity in new genomic technologies has the potential to stimulate or stifle innovation.

At this timely Agri-TechE event, pioneers in a range of different technologies will be explaining their approaches and discussing the potential impact of new legislation.


  • Biocleave is using single-cell organisms as bio-factories for the synthesis of semiochemicals used by plants and insects for self-defence and communication
  • Beta Bugs is creating improved breeds of black soldier fly to enhance animal feeds, using the insects’ own metabolic pathways to create proteins for food ingredients, bio-materials and fuel
  • Tropic Biosciences is using a gene editing technique to speed up trait acquisition and help growers address critical challenges in protecting crops, increasing their resilience to adverse events
  • Roslin Institute has shown the ability to use gene editing to provide immunity from disease, preventing contagion of respiratory disease in pigs

Other speakers from the James Hutton Institute and department of Livestock Informatics at SRUC will talk about potatoes and livestock respectively.

At this virtual event we will have an update on where advanced breeding is helping harness new and ancient traits as well as exploring the regulatory landscape for their management and application.

Come and join an informative and inspirational meeting of minds.

Fermenter Biocleave
Beta Bugs black soldier fly and eggs
Advanced breeding technology to save the banana at Tropic Biosciences


13.30    Welcome and Introduction


13.40    Clostridium: Teaching an old bug new tricks

Nathan Fairhurst, Commercial Operations Manager, Biocleave


13.55    Working at the next frontier in breeding: Black Soldier Fly, a farmed insect

Thomas Farrugia, CEO, Beta Bugs


14.10    What can new breeding technologies bring to sustainability and welfare in farmed animal breeding?

Helen Sang, Personal Chair of Vertebrate Molecular Development, Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh


14.25    #PhenotypeIsKing

Mike Coffey, Professor of Livestock Informatics, SRUC


14.40    Panel discussion


15.00    BREAK


15.20    Title TBC

Gilad Gershon, CEO, Tropic Biosciences


15.35    From the potato genome to disease resistance breeding

Ingo Hein, Senior Research Scientist, James Hutton Institute


15.50    Panel discussion


16.30    Closing Comments


Nathan Fairhurst, Biocleave

Nathan Fairhurst

Commercial Operations Manager

Read more…

Thomas Farrugia, CEO, Beta Bugs

Thomas Farrugia

Beta Bugs

Helen Sang, Roslin Institute

Helen Sang

Personal Chair of Vertebrate Molecular Development,
Roslin Institute

Mike Coffey, SRUC

Mike Coffey

Professor of Livestock Informatics,

Gilad Gershon, CEO, Tropic Biosciences

Gilad Gershon

Tropic Biosciences

Ingo Hein, Senior Research Scientist, James Hutton institute

Ingo Hein

Senior Research Scientist,
James Hutton Institute

Advances in Breeding for Agriculture – New Tools for New Solutions


This event is £30 for members of Agri-TechE, and £50 for non-members. Please note the fee is non-refundable for cancellation within 5 working days of the event. Use the link on the top right of the event listing to book; members will need to login or register for an account in order to access the member discount.

To find out more about becoming a member of Agri-TechE, please click here.

Basis CPD points will be available for attendees this event.

Agri-Tech Explore events are Agri-TechE’s monthly network meetings, including our Pollinator events as well as REAP and Innovation Hub. We want to ignite discussions following a topic deep dive with multiple specialists offering varied perspectives and expertise. Individuals from all sectors and disciplines welcome—whether you’re a grower, a researcher, a technical, professional service provider, an entrepreneur or completely new to the sector, come along and join in!

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September 23rd, 2021 1:30 PM through  5:00 PM
Hosted Virtually
United Kingdom
Event Fee(s)
Non-Member Fee (£50) +VAT £ 50.00

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Thursday 23rd September
1:30 pm - 5:00 pm
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