Dr. Mauritz Venter

AzarGen Biotechnologies

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Mauritz is co-founder and CEO of AzarGen, a biotechnology company focused on developing high-value compounds using advanced genetic engineering and synthetic biology techniques in plants. Mauritz conducted genetic research at Stellenbosch University, completing two postdoctoral fellowships (in plant biotechnology and human genetics respectively) and worked as a contract researcher and lecturer. He was part of the first group of postdoctoral fellows in South Africa to receive the National Research Foundation Innovation-Fund postdoctoral bursary in 2005-2006. During his postdoc fellowship in human genetics, he attracted funding and served as project leader of a Self-Initiated MRC (Medical Research Council-SA)-project. He has presented papers at several national and international conferences and authored or co-authored 15 research, book chapter and review articles in biotechnology and medical genetics. After completing a productive internship at a business management consultancy, he decided to combine his passion for science with business to become a bioentrepreneur.

What will make your time feel well spent?

A clear 'road-map' of what needs to be achieved with this workshop and how AzarGen can play a role as potential commercial partner for R&D projects. Our role would also include fundraising.

What would you like to share during the meeting?

Although we currently focus on biopharmaceuticals and we have developed molecular tools (synthetic promoters) for applications in plants, we would want to explore potential collaboration opportunities with special emphasis on: GENETIC ENHANCEMENT OF TOBACCO FOR HIGH-VALUE COMPOUNDS.