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.