Logos: Bionema and the King's Award for Enterprise

The King’s Awards for Enterprise, the pinnacle of recognition for UK businesses, have announced that their prestigious Innovation category award has been won by Bionema Group Ltd, a spin-out company from Swansea University.

The accolade celebrates Bionema’s groundbreaking NemaTrident, a revolutionary eco-friendly biological solution for crop pest management. As a leader in biocontrol technology, Bionema is committed to reducing the reliance on pesticides and synthetic fertilisers in food production.

The King’s Awards for Enterprise, previously known as The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, were renamed last year to reflect His Majesty The King’s desire to continue the legacy of HM Queen Elizabeth II by recognising outstanding UK businesses.

The Award programme, now in its 58th year, is the most prestigious business award in the country, with successful businesses able to use the esteemed King’s Awards Emblem for the next five years. 

Bionema Group Ltd started trading in 2013 and works in biotechnology, creating pest management solutions for horticulture, forestry, and other industries.

Its innovation competes with chemical pesticides, using microscopic nematode organisms to kill selected insects. Currently, farmers rely heavily on chemical pesticides. However, evidence of increasing pesticide resistance and severe environmental and human safety concerns have led to more stringent regulations banning the use of many pesticides.

Nematode-based products have been available since the 1980s, but they consistently fell short of meeting the needs of growers. NemaTrident is a patented tri-component nematode-based, non-toxic solution for insect pest control. A unique encapsulation technology, combined with a soil penetrating wetting agent, facilitates nematode dispersal deeper into the soil, increasing the contact rate with target pest larvae and resulting in greater efficacy. Extensive customer education and support programmes ensure its effective application.

Dr Minshad Ansari, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Bionema, said:

I’m proud Bionema has won the King’s Award for Enterprise, especially in the Innovation category. The discovery of natural microbes and the development and formulation of advanced products free from pesticides are at the heart of the Bionema business philosophy.

With greater interest in creating and maintaining a circular economy and due consideration of the UN Sustainability Development Goals, I founded Bionema in 2012 after working for 8 years at Swansea University purely to design and develop new biology, emphasising using naturally occurring microbes.

The NemaTrident® IP-protected technology was acquired by Syngenta in 2021, which is the safer, cleaner, and more environmentally friendly solution. We have been fortunate to have received many industry awards and acknowledgements, all praising.

Still, I take immense gratification in receiving this ultimate business honour, especially in recognising our innovation. This will help enhance our platform and generate further interest in our disruptive technology.

This microbe is designed to contribute to reducing pesticides and fertilisers in our soil, air, and environment, as well as current societal issues, ultimately providing effective solutions for the benefit of future generations.”

Professor Helen Griffiths, Pro Vice Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at Swansea University, and Director of Swansea Innovations Limited, said,

“Huge congratulations to the Bionema team on this richly deserved accolade.  As a Swansea University Spin-Out business with over 30 years of experience, Bionema has worked tirelessly on the development of research-derived biopesticide technologies, creating and launching a portfolio of commercially viable organic alternatives to damaging chemical pesticides”. 

Supporting enterprise and innovation within higher education is vital to ensuring that our world-leading research can progress from research in university laboratories through to the development and launch of products and services which deliver outstanding impact. 

It’s been exciting to have been a part of the initial journey with the Bionema team, and we very much look forward to continuing to work with the business as they go from strength to strength.”

Find out more about Bionema - developing chemical-free pest control

Swansea University research - sustainable futures, energy and the environment


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