Roots grows new leading scientific advisory board

Written by Zoe Gross, edited and authorised by Jonathan Jackson. Published at Apr 16, 2018, in Technology

Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies (ASX:ROO) announced this morning that it has created a world-class scientific advisory board consisting of three key agricultural scientists from Israel and the Netherlands.

ROO is an Israel-based ag-tech innovator, developing and commercialising cutting-edge technologies to help farmers solve the world’s food and water supply challenges.

Professor Raoul Bino, Professor Haim Rabinowitch and Professor Uzi Kafkafi, the major players joining this new scientific advisory board, are global opinion leaders in their respective specialty areas across the agronomy space, bringing to ROO a breadth of experience in plant physiology, genetics, cell biology, soil and roots science.

They will provide scientific guidance to ROO on the development programs for its two proprietary technologies:

  1. Root Zone Temperature Optimization (RZTO), which optimises plant physiology for increased growth, productivity and quality by stabilising the plant’s root zone temperature; and
  2. Irrigation by Condensation (IBC), a stand-alone irrigation system using a closed cycle of chilled water to produce condensation on the pipes, allowing farming in remote locations previously unsuited to food production due to water shortages.

ROO CEO, Dr Sharon Devir, said: “We have assembled an impressive group of internationally recognised key opinion leaders who will be instrumental in assisting us move our important technologies forward and conduct further research and product development.”

“The quality of the Advisory Board members is testimony to the potential of our RZTO and Irrigation by Condensation technologies to address critical problems being faced by agriculture today, including plant climate management and the shortage of water for irrigation,” added Devir.

At the same time, it’s worth noting that this is an early stage play and investors should seek professional financial advice if considering this company for their portfolio.

A professor of plant metabolomics, Professor Bino is an expert in plant physiology, biochemistry, and cell biology. Bino is active in international research programs and serves on several advisory boards, as well as serving as managing director of the Agrotechnology and Food Sciences Group, Wageningen University and Research Centre in the Netherlands. Wageningen University Research (WUR) is ranked number one globally in agriculture and forestry.

Professor Haim Rabinowitch is former rector and dean of the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. An expert in plant physiology and genetics, Rabinowitch has special interests and achievements in florogenesis, hybrid seed production in onions and garlic, and extending the shelf life of produce.

The Times of Israel reported that Rabinowitch, along with Professor Nachum Kedar, is credited with “basically inventing the cherry tomato”.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is Israel's premier academic and research institution. Producing a third of Israel’s civilian research, it is ranked 12th in the world in biotechnology patent filings and commercial development.

Professor Kafkafi, on the other hand, is Professor Emeritus of Plant Nutrition and former Professor of Plant Nutrition (field crops) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Specialising in research in phosphorus reactions in soils and plants, uptake by plants, adsorption in soils and clays, Kafkafi was previously head of Agricultural Research Organization (ARO) Institute of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences, Bet Dagan, Israel.

Kafkafi is the author of Plant Roots: The Hidden Half, a seminal book about the role and physiology of roots in agriculture and developments that have transformed biology.

This latest development comes only days after a major milestone on ROO’s path: ROO’s movement into the hydroponics space with the upcoming debut of its next-generation greenhouse technology, a collaboration with Teshuva Agricultural Projects. This game-changing piece of news was announced last Friday and saw jumps in ROO’s share price, currently sitting at 37.5 cents.

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