Agrinos AS, a global leader in biological crop nutrition solutions for improving agricultural productivity and sustainability, announced the expansion of its global R&D organization with the appointment of key members to its leadership team.

"We are very proud of the highly experienced and very talented leadership team we have positioned to guide our global research and development activities in our new facility in Davis, California, as well as in our research activities around the world," said Chief Executive Officer D. Ry Wagner. "The extension of Agrinos' existing products to new markets, and the development of new technologies in the field of biological crop nutrition, are both fundamental to our growth strategy.

The creation of our global R&D leadership team and the opening of our new state-of the-art R&D facility in Davis demonstrate the long-term commitment of Agrinos to bringing forward the best solutions possible to growers now and in the future," Dr. Wagner continued.

"This also demonstrates our commitment to provide our customers with the technology and product support they expect from Agrinos as a global leader providing unique and differentiated agricultural products to the marketplace," Wagner concluded.

The home of the global R&D team in Davis, California, is a newly renovated office and laboratory space in which Agrinos has the option to add additional space as the staff and activities continue to grow. The company has recently elected its first option to expand within the building site and will use this space for accommodating R&D staff and new laboratory operations.

Key members of the Davis-based leadership team include:
•Dr. Kathy Swords, Vice President of Research and Development Strategy -Swords has more than 30 years of expertise in agricultural biotechnology innovation and regulatory sciences. Swords previously served as Vice President, leading Syngenta's Quality Management team for chemical formulations, GM seed production, quality and international movement.

Prior to joining Syngenta, Swords led the creation of Simplot Plant Sciences, where she helped to develop novel technologies to make specialty crops in a more consumer-acceptable manner.

•Dr. Mylavarapu Venkatramesh, Vice President of Research and Development Operations and Strategic Alliances -Venkatramesh brings to Agrinos more that 33 years of experience in plant pathology, soil microbiology, plant biochemistry and metabolic engineering, including 17 years of leading biotechnology discovery research. He most recently served as New Technology Leader for the Seeds and Biotechnology Platform at Dow AgroSciences, where he led the identification, establishment and management of external collaborations.

Prior to joining Dow AgroSciences, Venkatramesh was the Director of Metabolic Engineering at Exelixis Plant Sciences, where he led programs in cell culture and bioprocessing. Venkatramesh was Technology Leader/Project Manager at Renessen and Monsanto before joining Exelixis Plant Sciences.

•Dr. Harrison Yoon, Chief Product Development Officer -Before joining Agrinos, Yoon was Chief Scientific Officer and Vice President of R&D for DianaPlantSciences. Previously, he held several positions as an R&D leader and a member of executive management in several biotechnology and life science companies in the United States and Korea. Yoon cofounded two biotech start-up companies in Korea, where he served as interim CEO and CTO.

For more than 15 years he has worked in the area of cell culture and fermentation, as well as bioprocess design, development and optimization in both the academic and industrial biotechnology sectors.