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From university lab to Swiss agrotech start-up

Researcher, entrepreneur and CEO Olga Dubey began to explore resistance to fungi during her PhD at the University of Lausanne. This led to the discovery of a natural, plant-based, antifungal compound, which she named AgroStore. She then went on to use this innovative patented technology to launch her start-up, AgroSustain.

Olga Dubey
Photo: Olga Dubey

Olga Dubey was motivated early on to develop solutions that could be used throughout the agricultural supply chain, particularly treatments that could be derived naturally. In contrast to many of the already banned chemical pesticides, Olga Dubey sought to find organic compounds that would not pose a risk to the environment or human health, and that ultimately could be handled by farmers and all other actors who bring fruit and vegetables to the market.

  

The video is in French.

  

Founded in 2018, AgroSustain strives to develop plant-derived antifungal compounds that act as a natural treatment against mould on crops. This treatment is then applied to fruit and vegetables still in storage facilities or packing houses to extend their shelf life by preventing mould. Not only are these treatments natural, but they can also be applied to deter a wide range of fungal pathogens. The loss of fruit and vegetables is therefore greatly reduced, which in turn contributes to sustainability and decreases carbon footprints.

  

Since her time at university, Olga Dubey and her business partner, Sylvain Dubey, have been able to take part in public-private collaborations such as Agroscope (Changins), while also gaining support from Venture Kick, the canton of Vaud and Veuve Clicquot.

 

Olga Dubey has also participated in BRIDGE, a programme jointly run by the Swiss National Science Foundation and Innosuisse – the Swiss Innovation Agency.  This programme – as its name suggests – serves as a bridge between the academic and the business worlds, and enhances knowledge transfer between researchers, entrepreneurs and those involved in the commercialisation of discoveries and products.

  

Innovative inventions and technologies require comprehensive collaborative frameworks and financial investments to support them, which is why Olga Dubey and her start-up were selected by the IPI to illustrate the successful attainment and management of IP. These were presented at the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) TRIPS Council in an exchange of best practices and success stories.

  
  

Join the IPI and the Swiss Permanent Mission at the WTO in Geneva on Friday, 18 October 2019 at the Friends of IP and Innovation annual event to hear more about Olga Dubey and AgroSustain.

 

The event is open to the public. A light lunch will be provided.

 

Anyone who does not have regular access to the WTO can register here.

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