Provectus Algae (Provectus), an Australian synthetic biology company specialising in microalgal biomanufacturing technologies for the production of specialty ingredients for a wide array of industries and applications, has announced the appointment of Dr Claudia Vickers as chief scientific officer. This strategic move ushers in the next stage of organisational growth for Provectus following the completion of a US$11.4m pre-series A funding round led by Hitachi Ventures at the end of last year.
Dr Vickers has over 20 years’ experience in bioengineering and brings a wealth of experience in developing and executing science strategy for large research programs. She comes to Provectus from the CSIRO, Australia’s national research agency, where she was director of CSIRO’s Future Science Platform in Synthetic Biology. This AU$60m platform built a collaborative, translation-oriented research program across the Australian R&D sector, growing national capability in synthetic biology and establishing a framework for the synthetic biology industry.
Dr Vickers’ personal research focuses on developing synthetic biology tools and applying them to metabolic engineering of organisms for manufacture of natural products that can be used as sustainable alternatives to petrochemicals and other industrial and agricultural products.
Dr Vickers has played a key role in building the synthetic biology R&D sector in Australia and internationally. She was founding president of Synthetic Biology Australasia, and served on expert working groups for Australia’s national synthetic biology and infrastructure investment plans. She sits on the scientific advisory boards for Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and for numerous international synthetic biology initiatives. She has represented Australia at international strategy and policy fora and currently co-chairs the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Synthetic Biology.
Given her extensive and highly impactful experience, she will be responsible for strengthening the Provectus biomanufacturing platform, providing customers with a competitive edge in scaling natural and biosynthetic products.
“I am very excited to join the team at Provectus Algae. Provectus is in hyper-growth mode, and is extremely well positioned to capitalize on national and international momentum to drive the next generation of synbio-enabled biomanufacturing. Provectus’ platform is a unique approach to unlock the potential of microalgae to rapidly deliver specialty food and beverage ingredients. In addition, this platform has sustainability advantages over conventional farming and manufacturing practice. I look forward to working with such an innovative company,” said Vickers.
“Dr Vickers brings a wealth of experience in developing and executing science strategy for large research programs. She will be a fantastic addition to the Provectus Algae team as we move from early development into scale-up operations and aim to provide customers with a competitive edge in scaling natural and biosynthetic products,” said Nusqe Spanton, founder and CEO of Provectus Aglae.
Dr Vickers joins Provectus in March 2022