CGIAR/Alliance of Bioversity Int’l & CIAT and Boost Biomes announce a project to evaluate biological treatment for critical diseases of bananas 

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Berkeley, CA and Rome, Italy (July 26, 2023) – CGIAR research center Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT (“Alliance/CGIAR”), and Boost Biomes, Inc. (“Boost”) announced today the initiation of a project to evaluate Boost’s biological products to address Fusarium wilt in bananas.  CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food-secure future; the Alliance delivers research-based solutions that harness agricultural biodiversity and sustainably transform food systems to improve people’s lives. Alliance solutions address the global crises of malnutrition, climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental degradation. Boost is a biotechnology startup company developing microbiome products for agriculture.  Their joint program will address diseases in bananas for which there is currently no effective treatment, and where biological products are preferred, starting with Fusarium wilt Tropical Race 4. 

This important initiative emerges as part of the broader CGIAR’s Accelerate for Impact Platform (A4IP) the venture space which leverages CGIAR’s legacy of research and innovation to co-design new collaborative opportunities between CGIAR centers and leading science-driven companies with the aim to develop and deploy multidisciplinary and disruptive innovation for greater impact. 

In this program, the Alliance/CGIAR will conduct field trials on Boost’s product to address Fusarium wilt TR4: an untreatable disease that threatens many cultivars of bananas and plantains that are grown for local consumption, as well as the Cavendish banana, the main cultivar that is grown for export. These activities will advance Boost’s development of the product, and further the partners’ shared vision for reduced chemical use, while ensuring safe and healthy food for everyone. 

“Boost’s initial data shows effective protection of Cavendish bananas from Fusarium wilt TR4.  We, at the Alliance/CGIAR, are excited to expand on their efforts into field trials in Peru and other countries that are facing the immediate threat of Fusarium wilt TR4,” said Miguel Dita, Senior Scientist of Plant Health for Sustainable Production, at the Alliance/CGIAR. “This disease is spreading to many countries that produce bananas and threatening the global supply.  Local smallholder farmers will be the first to feel these effects; there is a desperate need for products like Boost’s.” 

Jamie Bacher, Boost’s CEO agreed, “Alliance/CGIAR is uniquely positioned to evaluate our product in the regions where it is most needed.  The global-scale and environmentally sound perspective that they bring to bear on problems like the Fusarium wilt TR4 challenge is exactly what’s needed.  We look forward to working with the Alliance/CGIAR on this first product, and advanced products generated via our platform technology.” 

About CGIAR / Alliance of Bioversity International & CIAT 

The Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) delivers research-based solutions that harness agricultural biodiversity and sustainably transform food systems to improve people’s lives. Alliance solutions address the global crises of malnutrition, climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental degradation.  

With novel partnerships, the Alliance generates evidence and mainstreams innovations to transform food systems and landscapes so that they sustain the planet, drive prosperity, and nourish people in a climate crisis.  

The Alliance is part of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future. CGIAR works for a world with sustainable and resilient food, land, and water systems that deliver diverse, healthy, safe, sufficient, and affordable diets, and ensure improved livelihoods and greater social equality, within planetary and regional environmental boundaries. Our mission is to deliver science and innovation that advance the transformation of food, land, and water systems in a climate crisis. 

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About the Accelerate for Impact Platform 

The Accelerate for Impact Platform (A4IP) is a venture space that builds on CGIAR’s background in Research and Innovation to co-design, accelerate and fund science-driven technologies to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges. A4IP explores innovative partnership models to bridge research products from lab to market, creating demand for CGIAR science and strengthening its role in the innovation ecosystem, all while funding the most visionary teams to leverage their scientific creativity. A4IP plays a catalytic role for entrepreneurial scientists who want to be drivers of change by developing high-impact, multi-disciplinary, science-based technologies, solutions, and enterprises that make our food systems healthier, equitable, and sustainable. 

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 About Boost Biomes, Inc. 

Boost Biomes is developing new products to address critical needs in food abundance, security and safety. Underlying the products is a proprietary microbiome technology platform that provides Boost a unique understanding of interactions within microbiomes, leading to superior products that are effective, safe, organic and natural, and that facilitate the transition from chemical to biological products in the agriculture industry.  

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