The University of the Free State (UFS) has officially unveiled NovaLogix, a groundbreaking venture established in collaboration with ZZ2, a prominent South African fresh produce company.
The joint effort aims to revolutionise fresh produce production through the development and utilisation of a probiotic that enhances plant health and growth. At the formal launch event held at the UFS Bloemfontein Campus, key figures from both institutions were in attendance, underscoring the significance of the partnership.
The event was attended by Professor Francis Petersen, the vice-chancellor and principal; Professor Vasu Reddy, deputy vice-chancellor of research and internationalisation; and Dr Glen Taylor, senior director of the Directorate of Research Development – all from the UFS.
Representing ZZ2 were Dr Tommie van Zyl, CEO of the ZZ2 Group, executive manager Piet Prinsloo, and Wiam Haddad, the newly-appointed CEO of NovaLogix.
A probiotic solution with huge impact
The collaborative efforts of NovaLogix will focus on advancing production techniques, product registration, commercialisation, and recipe enhancements, to create a probiotic solution that positively impacts the agricultural sector.
Petersen highlighted the five-year journey leading to the establishment of NovaLogix, commencing in 2019 with an initial visit to ZZ2.
He emphasised the importance of co-creation and sustainable outcomes, stating, “Working together on a challenge makes the solution more sustainable. I believe that innovation and this co-creation approach will generate outcomes that transform the agricultural sector and impart knowledge to the next generation.”
“The knowledge, experience, and expertise that ZZ2 brings to the partnership complement the exciting and impactful research conducted by the university’s academics across a range of disciplines. I am looking forward to a partnership that will grow from strength to strength,” Petersen said.
Pushing for perfection
Van Zyl affirmed their commitment to building a future with UFS through a symbiotic relationship, utilising the strengths of both organisations. He anticipates breakthrough developments in the initiative, aligning with ZZ2’s “work with nature” philosophy that prioritises sustainable and nature-friendly farming practices.
The collaboration builds upon the existing partnership between UFS and ZZ2 established in September 2022.
FreeFarm Innovation, a company formed through this collaboration, holds a stake in NovaLogix and facilitates research, commercialisation, and improvements in agricultural products.
This pioneering venture signifies a significant step towards sustainable and innovative practices in the agricultural sector, with both UFS and ZZ2 committed to pushing the boundaries of knowledge and fostering a more harmonious relationship between agriculture and nature.
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