Westcape Biotech is a fully owned subsidiary of South African based Westcape Holdings (Pty) Ltd. Westcape Holdings is joint venture company between Enza Zaden B.V. (Netherlands), Expressive Research B.V. (Netherlands) and Expressive SA (Pty) Ltd.
Westcape Biotech has a specialized and experienced staff compliment. Senior staff qualifications include doctorates and other post-graduate degrees in relevant disciplines and the rest of the staff is either graduates or technical assistants with a high school education and in-house training. The company also houses interns and students through intern programmes and collaborations with local academic institutions.
The management team consists of:
Dr. Reinette Champanis has a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, a B.Sc. Hons. in Microbiology and a sound knowledge of biotechnology and plant tissue culture. She has been responsible for the setup of the company and operations since 2004 and has a passion for utilizing biotechnology to benefit industry.
Manager – Diagnostics and Research
Dr. Stephan Ferreira has a Ph.D. in Biotechnology (FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany) with extensive knowledge of biochemistry, molecular biology and high-throughput data analysis. He is skilled in genomics and transcriptomics and coordinates the molecular diagnostics and research projects in Westcape Biotech.
Manager - Tissue Culture
Dr. Lucienne Mansvelt has a Ph.D. Agric in Plant Pathology and a wealth of knowledge and experience in plant disease diagnostics and tissue culture. She is accomplished in various specialized plant tissue culture techniques, including the development of initiation, micro-propagation, embryo rescue and cryopreservation protocols.
Westcape Biotech is located on the R304, approximately 10 km from Stellenbosch. Its main building houses the administration as well as well-equipped laboratories for the molecular diagnostics and research functions. The business is certified by DAFF (Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries) to perform disease testing and is registered under the GMO Act to work on genetically modified organisms. The company is in the process of obtaining ISO 9001 certification.
The plant tissue culture facilities house the tissue culture laboratory, transfer room, growth rooms and hardening off facilities. The company's greenhouse and tissue culture facilities are registered with DAFF as Post Entry Plant Quarantine facilities to handle quarantine tissue culture imports. Specific greenhouse facilities are used for the growing of donor material for double haploid production.
Westcape Biotech is committed to delivering quality services and complying with regulatory and industry requirements:
- The company is in the process of being ISO 9001 accredited
- The Tissue Culture facilities and greenhouse is registered as Post Entry Plant Quarantine facilities (DAFF)
- The Molecular laboratory is registered as a test laboratory for plant pathogens (DAFF)
- Designated areas are registered as GMO Facilities (DAFF)