Article

16.11.2020

Ghent-based biotechnology is about to conquer America

In the past few years, Biotalys has worked hard on the first biological product devised to protect crops. This product will first be launched in the United States. Via its Innovation Hub BNP Paribas Fortis offers the company the necessary financing solutions and assist with their international expansion.

By the end of the year Biotalys aims to submit the dossier to the EPA, the independent federal agency of the United States in charge of protecting public health and the environment for the approval and marketing of its first product, the biofungicide BioFun-1.

A biological alternative to chemical pesticides

The young biotech firm has developed with this product a biological alternative to the chemical pesticides currently used to combat the botrytis fungus that affects strawberries, grapes, tomatoes and other plants. The product can also extend the storage time. “We really are pioneers in the agricultural biotech industry. We innovate using a technology that no-one else has yet developed. We aren’t copycats”, says Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) Hilde Revets.

Biotalys – formerly known as Agrosavfe – was set up in 2013 as a spin-off of the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology. The company now has 50 employees, around 45 of whom work at the headquarters in Ghent. A team is still working in the United States to prepare for the marketing of the first product there.

Requested by consumers and governments

The biotech company hopes that its new, effective biological products – which are also safer for people and the environment – will capture a substantial share of the pesticides market, replacing conventional chemical substances. Such alternatives are needed, too, given the increasing resistance to chemical pesticides among consumers and governments. “The European Union is looking for alternative pesticides. In this sense, the European Green Deal is in marvellous thing for us”, says Chief Operating Officer (COO) Luc Maertens.

American market first

Nevertheless, the biotech company is setting its sights on the American market first. “This is simply because the European regulation process takes far longer and is far more complex. In Europe, it takes at least three to four years to obtain approval, compared with 18 months in the United States. So we will be able to start by launching our first biofungicide, BioFun-1, in the United States in 2022.”

A broad pipeline with various products

The end of the year is an exciting time, with the submission of the dossier for the approval of BioFun-1 in the United States. “But of course, ours is not a single product company”, Revets assures us. “We are developing a broad pipeline with various products that we can use to protect plants and crops against major fungi, bacteria and insects.”

Demonstrating value

For CEO Patrice Sellès, ensuring this pipeline is one of the biggest challenges straight away. “As with every biotech company, it takes a great deal of effort and substantial investments before there is enough income to stand entirely on our own two feet. At the same time, agricultural biotechnology, the field in which we work, receives far less attention than medical biotechnology. So another major challenge is to demonstrate to the rest of the world that our technology is very valuable.”

Attract additional capital

Until now it has been fine, because the biotech company is supported by various Belgian and international investors. “They support us in our growth and understand that developing a product pipeline requires major investments. But we are gradually coming to the point where we have to look at various possibilities to attract additional capital.” This is one of the challenges facing the new CFO straight away.

Role of the Innovation Hub

One of the partners in this process is BNP Paribas Fortis, which also assists the biotech company in its Innovation Hub. Relationship manager Koen: “Our role is to offer the company the necessary financing solutions and assist with their international expansion. For instance, we recently provided financing for the new laboratory. This way, the company retains sufficient liquid assets to really focus fully on the core activities - the development of very advanced green biotechnology.”
Article

10.02.2021

What is the future for mobility post-coronavirus?

The health and economic crisis has affected all aspects of every sector. Among them, mobility, for both private individuals and for companies.

Mobility is evolving every day. And it has been driven further as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Many people have been locked down and working from home has been widespread in many parts of the world.

The coronavirus crisis has changed concerns about transport

We are no longer moving around in the same way. And concerns are no longer the same. According to a BCG Consulting report, social distancing and vehicle cleanliness are the most important aspects for 41% and 39% of respondents, respectively, when choosing a mode of transport. There is also pre- and post-Covid mobility, with respondents being more likely to choose walking, their own bicycle or scooter, or their car than before the crisis.

Sustainable and alternative mobility in the years to come

Mobility has not necessarily waited for the coronavirus crisis in order to evolve. And, according to the same report, the share of more environmentally-friendly vehicles will continue to increase. By 2035, more than 35% of new vehicles will be electric cars, becoming the predominant form of motorised transport worldwide. Autonomous cars will also become more common, with 10% of vehicles being level 4 vehicles (able to travel without a driver, for example), and 65% level 2 or higher.

Customised mobility for employees, right now

The future of mobility is also relevant now, especially for businesses and the self-employed. The need for alternative modes of transport does not only concern private individuals, but also employees. There is no longer a single mode of transport for all situations, but a range of means depending on the need at a given moment. Electric cars, hybrid vehicles, electric bicycles, a public transport season ticket, car sharing, leasing, etc. These modes can take different forms and be combined in a mobility card, for example. There are benefits for the employees and managers of a company but also for the company itself through cost reduction, optimisation and fleet management.

Want to know more about sustainable and alternative mobility for you and your employees?
Find out more about our tailor-made mobility solutions
Article

28.01.2021

The road to alternative mobility

Nowadays, responsible fleet management is built around sustainability. We're here to help you identify and realise your Corporate Social Responsibility ambitions.

Together we can cut your company's carbon footprint, improve employee mobility, and make sure these steps become a central pillar of your company's added value. In short, our aim is to have an alternative mobility policy.

Energy transition

We can help you make the switch to alternative mobility and new technologies to reduce your carbon footprint. Our SMaRT approach ensures your fleet has the best energy mix to match your strategy and driver profiles.

Alternative mobility needs new technologies to go hand in hand with new infrastructure. That's why we offer not only electric cars, but also the right charging solutions, too. As part of our integrated service provision we can determine how many charging points you need, install them, and manage how they are used both at the workplace and at the driver's home.

Soft mobility

Modern mobility management is about more than just cars or vans. You need a 360-degree approach. We'll work with you to determine your mobility strategy and needs. Greener cars are just one of the options available. We have a number of mobility management solutions (such as the Mobility Card) and alternative mobility solutions (such as bicycle leasing) to inspire your organisation to offer a more flexible range.

Focus on employees

When you put your employees at the heart of your organisation, you're in a better position to find skilled employees, satisfy them, and retain them. Go a step further than just an alternative mobility solution: focus on their safety and let them play an active role in achieving your sustainability goals. Trust us to improve their safety and integrate new technologies.

Operational leasing is offered by Arval Belgium SA/NV, with the intervention of BNP Paribas Fortis SA/NV – Montagne du Parc/Warandeberg 3, B-1000 Brussels, Brussels Register of Companies VAT BE0403.199.702.
Promotion only available from Thursday 21 January up to and including Wednesday 31 March 2021 and is only available to professional clients (self-employed, liberal professionals and SMEs) of BNP Paribas Fortis and Fintro.
The information provided here does not constitute an offer. An offer is made only after your file has been accepted and is always subject to Arval Belgium SA/NV's General Terms and Conditions.
Article

27.01.2021

Mobility, more than just four wheels

BNP Paribas Fortis offers complete mobility solutions. Sometimes a four-wheeled fleet is not enough for your mobility needs.

As a reliable partner, we can help you with every step – or pedal – of your mobility trajectory.

Mobility analysis and advice

Our mobility managers can work together with your relationship manager to develop a future-focused mobility strategy.

We start by listening to you: we want to understand your needs and concerns when it comes to mobility. This is our starting point for creating the best mobility solution for you and your company. We will build on this foundation with our expertise, while also taking Belgium's specific legal and fiscal ecosystem into account.

New mobility solutions

As well asfull-service leasing,we also offer our core product giving you access to our full mobility range, a wide range of basic services and added-value services such ascar parts,carpool management,bicycle leasingandmobility cards. All of our mobility services and their associated services such as parking, electric charging, fuel, tolls and car washing are within reach.

Managing your mobility budget

We'll help you and offer advice about implementing the federal mobility budget[VBK1] in your company. If that's too limited to meet your specific needs and aims, we can develop a personalised mobility budget solution to manage your mobility costs in line with the legal framework, just as we've done for a number of clients previously.

We've already implemented some tailored cost-neutral solutions, allowing our clients to combine lease cars with lease bicycles or other mobility solutions. This means the company can meet its goals while also making good on its promises and obligations.

Those ambitions might range from an ambitious CO2 agenda to a competitive offer to attract talent or a solution to solve your lack of car parking spaces.

Operational leasing is offered by Arval Belgium SA/NV, with the intervention of BNP Paribas Fortis SA/NV – Montagne du Parc/Warandeberg 3, B-1000 Brussels, Brussels Register of Companies VAT BE0403.199.702.
Promotion only available from Thursday 21 January up to and including Wednesday 31 March 2021 and is only available to professional clients (self-employed, liberal professionals and SMEs) of BNP Paribas Fortis and Fintro.
The information provided here does not constitute an offer. An offer is made only after your file has been accepted and is always subject to Arval Belgium SA/NV's General Terms and Conditions.
Article

27.01.2021

Choose hassle-free car sharing

Car sharing is a cost-efficient solution for your company, even while social distancing is in place. Our online booking system also ensures optimum occupancy.

It's easy to ensure hygiene, too, because your smartphone doubles up as a car key and there are guidelines in place for disinfecting the car after use. The driving administration for each user allows us to track who has driven the car if someone is infected or falls ill.

What is car sharing?

Car sharing adds a new dimension to the concept of carpooling. You can manage corporate car sharing using a smart online platform and an innovative app. There's no need to hand over keys, as users open, start and lock cars using the Car Sharing app. Car sharing is a great example of smart sharing and flexible, sustainable mobility. As the employer, you can make cars available and decide which employees can use them.

How does car sharing work?

Book online

Car sharing lets you book a car anywhere, any time. We've developed an intuitive online booking system and a free Car Sharing app for Android and iOS. It takes seconds to book a car, whether you're at the computer or on your smartphone.

You open, start and lock the car using the app. Picking up and dropping off keys is a thing of the past. No smartphone? no problem – we'll give you a chip card.

No more paperwork

The app also makes sure that all data is carefully recorded and kept. Mileage and fuel consumption are automatically recorded after each trip, while users can report any damage quickly and accurately using the app.

Need more information? Do not hesitate to discuss this with your relationship manager or contact us using this form.
Operational leasing is offered by Arval Belgium SA/NV, with the intervention of BNP Paribas Fortis SA/NV – Montagne du Parc/Warandeberg 3, B-1000 Brussels, Brussels Register of Companies VAT BE0403.199.702.
Promotion only available from Thursday 21 January up to and including Wednesday 31 March 2021 and is only available to professional clients (self-employed, liberal professionals and SMEs) of BNP Paribas Fortis and Fintro.
The information provided here does not constitute an offer. An offer is made only after your file has been accepted and is always subject to Arval Belgium SA/NV's General Terms and Conditions.

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