EVANSTON, IL – (March 12, 2019) The 2Blades Foundation announces the formation of its new Sustainability Council, an advisory body that draws on expertise from across society to support and promote the organization’s work on delivering durable crop disease solutions.  The Council will aid 2Blades’ mission by assisting program implementation and helping to expand its funding base by raising the organization’s profile and fostering connections to business networks and funding opportunities.

The mission of 2Blades Foundation is to translate the most significant advances in the understanding of plant disease, immunity, and enabling technologies into seeds with durable and environmentally-friendly protection against the world’s most devastating crop diseases.  In this way the organization contributes to global food security and human well-being by ensuring that farmers can harvest what they sow.

The Sustainability Council convened for the first time in December 2018, for a forum on the under-recognized impacts of crop disease and the efforts underway to accelerate new genetic solutions from the laboratory to the field. The meeting featured talks by Prof. Brian Staskawicz (University of California, Berkeley), Prof. Brian Steffenson (University of Minnesota), and Dr. Marc Ghislain (International Potato Center) on key advances in resistance in wheat, potato and other crops that were supported by 2Blades. Participants included council members and individuals from the worlds of research, policy, development, farming, media, and business, producing a high caliber discussion of the challenges we face and strategies to overcome them. Going forward, the Council will play a critical role in helping 2Blades to deliver on more than fifteen years of progress in producing resilient crops.

2Blades extends a warm welcome to the inaugural members of its Sustainability Council: 

Euler Bropleh, managing director of the venture capital firm VestedWorld, which invests in early stage companies in emerging markets. 

Jon Entine, founder and executive director of the Genetic Literacy Project, a non-profit focused on biomedicine, synthetic biology, stem cell research and agricultural biotechnology.

Frank O’Keefe, CEO and co-founder of Infinitree LLC, which was founded in 2014 to provide carbon-negative CO2 enrichment solutions for enclosed agricultural applications.

Katie Pratt, northern Illinois farmer who together with her husband raises kids, and also corn, soybeans, and seed corn for Wyffels Hybrids.  

Tom Turpen, Founder and CEO of SensIT Ventures, which develops innovative chemical sensors for a range of applications across agriculture and medicine.

Sylvia Wulf, new Chief Executive Officer, President, and Director of AquaBounty Technologies, Inc, a biotechnology company focused on enhancing productivity in the aquaculture market. 

Maria Velissariou, Chief Science and Technology Officer at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), based in Chicago, IL.

Ms. Wulf commented “2Blades is addressing the global challenge of food insecurity and scarcity in a sustainable way. Investing in and using science that enables crops to be grown without losses in both high production areas, as well as by small holder farmers in challenged areas of the world, is desperately needed. I am passionate about supporting their mission and seeing their research brought to market.” Diana Horvath, 2Blades President and co-founder, said “The Sustainability Council allows 2Blades to advance the progress we have diligently made since inception and expand its impact to a far greater extent. Working with these accomplished, dedicated leaders – each passionate and committed to delivering a future where everyone has enough to eat and food is produced in a sustainable, natural resource-sparing system – invigorates all of our work.”

To learn more about the Advisory Board and its members, visit Our Team.  To learn more about joining the Council, please contact Diana Horvath.


About 2Blades

The 2Blades Foundation, based in Evanston, Illinois, is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to the discovery, advancement, and delivery of durable disease resistance in crops. 2Blades establishes and manages development programs addressing significant unsolved crop disease problems in collaboration with leading research institutions around the world and at the 2Blades Group in The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich, UK. 2Blades manages a portfolio of specific traits and enabling technologies that it implements in its own programs and out-licenses for broad use. Visit the 2Blades website at www.2blades.org and follow 2Blades on twitter at @2blades.


Media Contact 2Blades Foundation: Diana Horvath, 847-425-1277, dmh(at)2blades(dot)org