Advisory Board

Michael SUMMERS, Summers Associates Ltd, UK

Michael SUMMERS received his BSc. in Botany from Exeter University (UK) in 1964. He brings more than 45 years of broad, worldwide, hands-on general management experience in plant breeding, biotechnology and seeds. His consultancy activity and experience in non-executive director positions provide an unusually broad vision.


After graduation he joined Fisons Limited (UK) Management Training Scheme followed by experience in agricultural and industrial chemicals, fertilizers and pharmaceuticals. In 1971 he joined the Nickerson Seed Company, already partly owned by Shell, originally in marketing and then in UK General Management.


In 1979, in France, Mr. SUMMERS established Shell’s field crop breeding, production and marketing subsidiary. Profitability was achieved in only four years and he led the business for 8 years. In 1987 he was appointed General Manger of Shell’s ailing vegetable seed subsidiary, Nickerson Zwaan (NL), and helped to achieve a turnaround in two years. In 1989 he returned to the UK to join the team responsible for Shell’s divestment of plant breeding and biotech, and its sale to Groupe Limagrain.


In 1990 he set up SUMMERS ASSOCIATES – a worldwide consultancy focussed on biotechnology licensing and plant breeding technology in a uniquely wide range of feed, food and industrial crops, vegetables and ornamentals. In addition to a number of non-executive board positions Mr. SUMMERS has carried out missions for numerous financial investors and companies including Japan Tobacco, Groupe Limagrain, Seminis, Innotech Investments, Agricultural Genetics Company (UK), Paradigm Genetics, Anawah (now Arcadia), Norsk Hydro, Groupe Plan, Sakata, NIAB, Elsoms, Preesman and many others . Also in 1990 he became part-time Managing Director of Floranova Ltd (UK). He negotiated the acquisition of the Clause flower seeds business in 1995 and took the combined company from significant losses to a high level of profitability. He retired from Floranova at the end of 2006, after more than 16 years, having helped achieve its sale to a private investor.


Mr. SUMMERS now focuses on a very small group of clients – specifically BenchBio, New Energy Farms, Synpromics and Plastid.


Dr. Mei Lie MC Tan Germany

Dr. TAN has more than15 years experience in licensing in/out technology and acquisition of R & D projects, subsidies and setting up collaborations worldwide. She did her studies and PhD in 1987 in Cell/Molecular Biology and Plant Breeding from Univ. Amsterdam, Agric. Univ Wageningen, Simon Fraser Univ. Canada.She started her career as a Biotech Research Manager at Zaadunie/Sandoz Seeds (the Netherlands) followed by Product Development Manager and Business Development Manager at Mogen International BV. in the Netherlands, later Zeneca Ltd (UK/Germany) & Syngenta Inc. (Switzerland), She is a member of International Network in Science and Agro Business, Food industry, Biopharma, Seed, and Fresh Produce industry. She is currently founder and Director of Crea Nova Consultancy and has set up a JV and Research laboratory in South America.




Alain P. BONJEAN, born in Clermont-Ferrand, France, in 1955, is a plant geneticist and an ag-business manager by education and profession with additional diplomas in management and marketing from Paris, France (Institut de Contrôle de Gestion and Institut National of Marketing).

From July 2017, Alain BONJEAN is CEO of his own company BONJEAN & Associates SAS, which works mostly on wheat, other cereals and pseudocereals, oil and protein crops and medicinal plants, but also internationally in human nutrition and health linked to plant end-uses. His favorite subjects also covers plant domestication and early diffusion, European Union, Iran and China.

From July 2014 to June 2017, Alain BONJEAN was Corporate Head of Strategical Information and Development at the headquarter of Groupe Limagrain and located in France.

From 2001 to mid-2014, Alain BONJEAN was the Groupe Limagrain's Greater China General Representative and Managing Director in China. He was also Chairman of Shanxi Limagrain JV, Managing Director of both Beijing Consulting Limagrain WOFE and Beijing Limagrain Vegetable R&D WOFE, Director of Vilmorin Hong-Kong and Scientific Adviser of LPHT, the world and Chinese leader in hybrid rice. Alain Bonjean was also member of the World Wheat Business Steering Committee of Groupe Limagrain.

From 1999 to 2000, he served at the Groupe Limagrain’s headquarter as International Scientific Manager of Groupe Limagrain and was specialized in plant genetic resource exchanges, plant biotechnology and breeding technology access and worldwide R&D business alliances with foreign partners. From 1978 to 1998, Alain BONJEAN served in top managing positions in various agricultural and economic European associations, as well as in seed companies and biotechnology laboratories. From 1981, he has been actively involved in scientific cooperation training and business exchanges between institutes and companies of the P.R.’s of China and of France, and of the European Union.

Alain BONJEAN has also written and published extensively on biodiversity, plant domestication and plant genetic resources management, plant breeding, molecular biology tools (molecular marker, gene engineering, GMOs). He was also involved in the definition and applications of international regulations in these areas, in educational programs and in various international institution committees. He is expert at the European commission in Biotechnology, Agriculture and Food.

He is a world known specialist of cereal, oil and protein crop history and genetic improvement and has been the leading co-editor of the famous monograph, the World Wheat Book, A History of wheat breeding. He also recently co-edited/wrote Cereals in China for CIMMYT with Prof. He Zhonghu of CAAS and Nourrir 1.5milliard de Chinois en 2030 with Carole Ly, Marie-Hélène Schwoob and Delphine Boinet. He is currently preparing a book of anthropology on cereals and rituals around the world and among the human civilizations with the French philosopher and sinologist Benoît Vermander.