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Steve Evans – Reflections on 30 Years Traversing the Ag Biotech Landscape | GES Colloquium

February 11, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EST

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Reflections on 30 Years Traversing the Ag Biotech Landscape

Speaker: Steve Evans, Ph.D., Dow AgroSciences Fellow (Retired) and Founder of Re-Knowvate, LLC

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The Ag Biotechnology Landscape has changed markedly from the 1980’s. In certain ways, however, the calendar can be argued to have cycled back on itself.

Back then lab scientists and entrepreneurs were wildly optimistic about deployment. Some early applications of rDNA technology did move from the lab to the open environment, but not without challenges and controversy. Yet many applications never successfully passed over the threshold of the laboratory. Time moved faster than did the development of either technical, regulatory or societal solutions and startups faltered or were acquired. What constituted potential deployment areas constricted to just a few commercial opportunities, and large scale deployment shifted significantly to the purview of long-established corporations.

Recent advances in genome reading, editing, or writing, plus those in the various biome technologies and new computational approaches to biology have together resuscitated interest in ag and environmental innovation. While corporate entities are consolidating, the startup ecosystem is thriving. So what learnings have we propagated to a new generation of technology developers, regulators and to society at large? If you are under 25 years of age you have never lived in a world without field deployed biotech crops. Or their controversies. With the renewed interest in deploying ag biotech products made by these newer technologies, have we partnered better this time with diverse stakeholders? Or are we setting up simply to re-plow the same ground?

Speaker Bio

Steven L. Evans spent 30 years bringing biotechnology products to the field in small and large companies. His research focused on biochemistry and recombinant protein expression in ag and environmental biotech. At Mycogen and Dow AgroSciences he developed native and recombinant biopesticides, natural products, and plant genome editing technology. Steve retired as a Fellow from Dow AgroSciences (now Corteva Agriscience) and founded Re-Knowvate LLC. His passion is to use this historical experience and repurpose it today in organizations driving 21st century biotechnology so that they may learn from the actions of the early pioneers in applied biotechnology, thus accelerating their ability to develop and deploy new technologies to benefit our world. Steve has been active in public-private partnerships (NSF SynBERC and the Engineering Biology Research Consortium (EBRC)) as well as serving on the NAS Future Products of Biotechnology and the NAS Safeguarding the Bioeconomy studies. He received his BA (chemistry) and BS (microbiology) from the Univ. of Mississippi and a PhD in microbial physiology from the Univ. of Mississippi Medical School. He was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley and with the USDA in Peoria, IL.


February 11, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EST
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Poe 202 (North Campus)
2310 Katharine Stinson Dr.
Raleigh, NC 27607 United States
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