Biolumic Founder, Professor Jason Wargent announced as Kiwinet Finalist

Professor Jason Wargent, Massey University, Chief Science Officer & Founder, BioLumic

Professor Jason Wargent, Founder and Chief Science Officer of Massey spin out company Biolumic is recognised as one of twelve finalists in the 2020 Kiwinet Awards. The eighth annual KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards are designed to celebrate impact from science through successful research commercialisation within New Zealand’s universities, Crown Research Institutes and other research organisations.

Professor Wargent is nominated under the ‘Baldwins Researcher Entrepreneur category’. This award recognises an entrepreneurial researcher who has made outstanding contributions to business innovation or has created innovative businesses in New Zealand through technology licensing, start-up creation or by providing expertise to support business innovation.

Professor Wargent is a plant biologist who has dedicated his career to developing new scientific knowledge that can be exploited in sustainable crop production. Trained in the UK, and a Massey academic staff member for nearly 10 years, Jason spun his research out of Massey in 2013 to found BioLumic, an Agtech start-up company which exploits plant responses to light to induce agriculturally desirable crop traits, without the need for chemicals or GM approaches.

Professor Wargent’s research has led to numerous high-quality research publications, and has attracted millions of dollars in funding, including from the prestigious Marsden Fund. Jason’s discovery that modern LED lighting technology could be used to apply treatments of light to seeds and plants, and to dramatically increase crop yields, led to the research spin-out creation of BioLumic, a Manawatu-based company which now has 25+ employees in locations around the world, has product in-market, and has received $14M dollars in investor capital, and $3.8M in NZ government R&D funding.

BioLumic’s R&D HQ is the world-first UV Photobiology R&D Centre, hosted by Massey in Palmerston North, opened in May 2018. Jason is also Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Massey, and a passionate advocate of University spin-out and start-up culture.

Winners of the Kiwinet Award categories will be announced at an evening reception on 15 October in Auckland.