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May 11 — Solutions Towards Sustainable Intensification
May 11 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
**Join RTP AgBio + AgTech as we are hosted by Innovate Carolina in the brand-new innovation hub, 79 Degrees West.**
Erosion, pollution, desertification and poor soil health are rising in tandem with a warming climate. Earth is losing the land on which we cultivate crops resulting in stagnating crop yields, food and grain shortages and inadequate world access to nutritious food sources. Sustainable intensification methods promise to increase crop and food growth in a way that preserves and improves existing ecosystems while providing adequate nutrition for the world. Guest speakers, Jiarui and Volker will discuss global and local means toward achieving sustainable intensification and will share their entrepreneurial journeys in improving agricultural systems.
**Agenda for meeting:**
5:10-5:15 Announcements/ Introductions
[***Angel Turner, Edward Richards, Suzanne Kjemtrup](https://agbioagtech.com/mission/about/)
5:15-6:00 Discussion led by Susanne Kjemtrup, [Phyta Biotech Consulting](http://www.phytabiotech.com/about.html) and a Co-organizer of [AgBio + AgTech](https://agbioagtech.com/) networking group
***Volker Mittendorf *Quality Manager with [Gates Ag One](https://www.gatesagone.org/)*
***Jiarui Li *CEO of [Innatrix](https://www.innatrix.com/)*
6:00-6:45 Networking and refreshments
6:45-7:00 Wrap up; Meeting End
Jiarui Li is the CEO of Innatrix, an agtech startup dedicated to developing sustainable biological products for crop protection. He holds both a Ph.D. in plant biology and an executive MBA. Jiarui is leading team building, fundraising, project management, product commercialization and business development of Innatrix. Jiarui is also a mentor for IndieBio and a business advisor for Sustainable Agriculture Labs. Jiarui is an accomplished scientist and agtech industry leader with over 30 peer-reviewed publications, two patents and five funded research proposals. He has raised close to $2 million in non-dilutive funds and capital funds.
Volker has his roots in Africa. He studied in South Africa where he completed his Ph.D. in Microbiology at the University of Cape Town, followed by postdoctoral studies at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland and at the Max Planck Institute near Potsdam. His postdoc was focused on the production of biodegradable plastics in Arabidopsis and potato. He worked 20 years for BASF Plant Science and Syngenta in Research Triangle Park, NC as project leader and research team manager in the discovery and early development of modified seed products, such as herbicide and insecticide-tolerant maize and soy and supporting crop projects with marker-based breeding technologies. After three years as an independent consultant, he has recently taken a position as quality manager with Gates Ag One. In his new role, Volker is excited to contribute more impactfully to the shared mission of improving outcomes for smallholder farmers in Africa.