How We Work

Driving technologies toward applications

Advances in plant science have brought about tremendous improvements in the understanding of the plant immune system yet there has been little progress in translating these discoveries into disease resistant crops in the field.  Click below to see how we work to change this situation:


The Lab
The plant science "valley of death"
  • Innovation
  • Licensing & Trials
  • Applications

Research and Scouting

2Blades has deep expertise in the science of plant disease and an advisory board comprised of top scientists in the field. Our connections allow us to identify and in-license promising new discoveries from academic collaborators. An example is the TAL Code technology, a versatile, programmable gene targeting technology that was discovered in a plant pathogen. 2Blades saw the importance of this powerful technology and ensured that it became broadly available for wide benefit.

2Blades also identifies and supports programs of discovery in the 2Blades Group at the Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, UK, and in other laboratories around the world.

  • Innovation
  • Licensing & Trials
  • Applications

Intellectual Property and Project Management

2Blades undertakes whatever may be needed to advance technologies from initial discovery to validated application. Often this entails introducing one or more disease resistance genes into the most appropriate crop varieties, greenhouse testing for pathogen resistance, and then pressure-testing the resistance under field conditions to ensure that improved varieties perform well in real agricultural settings. In many cases, we partner with experts in particular crops to carry out these tests, such as our work with the University of Florida on tomato bacterial spot. Along with financial support, we provide expertise in project management, field trials, intellectual property, and biotech product regulation to these projects. In other cases, we license technologies directly to commercial partners or international organizations with the ability to undertake testing.

  • Innovation
  • Licensing & Trials
  • Applications

Partnering for Delivery

In order to ensure that advanced varieties can reach customers in the developed and developing world, 2Blades works to identify the best partners to bring technology to the field in commercial markets and subsistence agriculture. We have a broad range of partnerships with seed and agricultural technology companies, as well as non-profit organizations with expertise and germplasm in relevant locations, allowing us to complete the bridge between cutting-edge academic research and practical application.

The Field


2Blades recognizes that there is an urgent need for the development of disease resistant crops in less developed and subsistence agricultures, and consequently this is a major focus of our activity.  In such cases, the Foundation will distribute its technologies at no cost through appropriate national and international agencies or through local seed companies.

Project Criteria

In order to most effectively make an impact on crop disease, 2Blades considers a number of criteria to select its programs:

• Projects must address a major disease problem of an important commercial or staple crop 
• There must be an absence of conventional breeding solutions 
• There must be a tractable molecular solution for durable resistance 
• The development team must be composed of highly experienced scientists
• Resistance should be conferred with a minimum of regulatory and consumer concerns 

Due to our structure as a charitable organization, our policy is to limit overhead allocations on grants to 10% of direct costs.

Training Initiative

2Blades has recognized the need to train young scientists in business and management skills so that they can drive the next generation of discoveries into application.  We have begun a pilot program, the 2Blades Masterclass, at The Sainsbury Laboratory to give postdoctoral scientists a foundation in the skills needed in an entrepreneurial or corporate environment.