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Biocontrol: from laboratory to market

CSIRO : 08 April, 2002  (Technical Article)
The fight against pest animals has taken another step forward with the expansion of a company bringing new biological technologies to market. Pestat Pty Ltd, set up by the Co-operative Research Centre for the Biological Control of Pest Animals, will take the scientific results from the CRC's research programs and make commercial products out of them.
'Commercialising scientific results is, in itself, a challenging process' says Dr David Dall, the new General Manager of Pestat. 'Even after years of painstaking research, and proof of concept trials, the development of a successful commercial product usually involves significant additional effort and investment.'

Dr Dall joins Pestat Pty Ltd from CSIRO Entomology, where he was leader of insect DNA virus research.

Our insect virus project was about the development and use of viral biopesticides for control of caterpillar pests of agricultural and horticultural industries,' he says, 'so I'm familiar with many of the challenges that Pestat will be facing.'

'Although the functions associated with processes such as product quality control and regulatory approval are less glamorous than the laboratory phases, they are just as important to the delivery of outcomes of biotechnology research.' Dr Jim Cullen, head of CSIRO Entomology, supports Dr Dall's career move from the laboratory to business.

'The formation of start-up companies is a key part of the innovation process,' says Dr Cullen. 'They are critical to ensuring that aspects of CSIRO's research are taken up, and thus fulfil their goal of a better economic, environmental and social future for Australia.'

'Dr Dall's move into this area increases the number of highly trained scientists working in the business environment, a factor that's an important ingredient to Australia becoming much more successful technologically,' he says. Pestat Pty Ltd is a world leader in the development of safe, effective and humane products for vertebrate pest control.

Pestat is a partner of the Australian BioScience Consortium (BIOZ), which is co-ordinating the bid to establish the National Centre of Excellence in Biotechnology in Canberra, and a recipient of Federal and ACT Government support funding.

Pestat was also one of the first eleven companies announced as a recipient of the Federal Biotechnology Innovation Fund grants and it has won recognition under the Australian Technology Showcase scheme.
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