Organisatie - 10 mei 2012

Pheromone lab goes it alone

The Pherobank lab which develops pheromones with which to trap harmful insects has broken off from Plant Research International. Researchers Frans Griepink and Henk Swarts will direct the new company, Pherobank bv. The business cards are ready.

It is about time to become independent, says Griepink. ‘Our hands were tied in many ways within Wageningen UR. Before we could handle an order we first had to run around collecting signatures. It was too slow-moving. What is more, we had earned money over the past few years but we were not free to invest it the way we thought best.' So in consultation with the management of the Plant Sciences Group, a decision was taken to privatize Pherobank.
Pherobank has developed lures for as many as 200 insect species. These are dispatched in dispensers which release the aromas slowly. So the services provided by Griepink and Swarts reach many corners of the globe. ‘We are good at difficult pheromones and have very few competitors in this area. The combination of organic chemistry and entomology is pretty unique in the world.'
Wageningen UR's StartLife Foundation has provided the new company with advice and a loan. Arrangements have also been made for Pherobank to take over the expensive analysis equipment at the lab. Pherobank will remain in Radix for the time being, but will be moving in due course to cheaper and more spacious premises.