Volker Bornemann, Ph.D.
CEO, Avazyme Agriculture and Food Testing Solutions
Over the past 25 years Volker has held a number of leadership roles in Regulatory Science and Food Safety R &D in the agricultural solutions industry and more recently in environmental and life science laboratory service businesses. He has a wealth of international, operational, business development and technology-related experience, developing and growing science and technology solution-based companies, teams, and laboratories in the life sciences marketplace. Most recently, he and his Avazyme team have been a strong supporter and testing partner for the fast-emerging Industrial Hemp industry in North Carolina and from coast to coast.
Volker began his career at BASF AG, in Germany where he held various R&D leadership and operating roles (some of them in the US) in the Agricultural Solutions Division and was a leader in innovation teams and mergers and acquisitions with subsequent integrations. He also played a pivotal role in several external international regulatory task forces (Pesticide Residue Chemistry Expert Group of OECD) and industry associations (ECPA, CLA, CLI, ACS, AOAC, ASTM, MBAA) in Europe and the US. He is now applying his extensive knowledge and network in agriculture, crop science, pesticides, natural products metabolism and xenobiotic metabolism, neutraceuticals/pharmaceuticals and regulatory science to the hemp industry and the entire Food Value Chain. From Farm-to-Fork and from Farm-to-Farmacy.
Prior to starting his own companies, Volker was President of Smithers Viscient, a mid-size contract research organization focused on global environmental testing and business development and operations across agrochemical, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries. Volker was responsible for Business Process Optimization, acquisition of companies in the US, Europe, and Japan, and their subsequent integration in the existing Smithers’ business.
In 2014, Volker founded Avazyme, Inc. a contract research solution provider, offering state-of-the-art laboratory testing, product development, and expert consulting services to the agriculture and food, beverage, nutraceutical, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical industries. Avazyme’s comprehensive services include food safety analyses for contaminants, pathogens, allergens, food quality and nutrition analysis, genetic trait testing, product safety, FDA Menu Labeling, pesticide residues, mycotoxin analysis, specialized studies for regulatory submission data packages, and a full spectrum of testing for product safety and product quality related to industrial hemp. Avazyme provides fast and reliable answers to ensure product safety and high product quality for consumable food and beverages, feed, cosmetics, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical products.
In 2015, Volker was also appointed Adjunct Professor by the Department of Chemistry in the College of Science of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC; Advisory Council Member at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center; and North Carolina Ag Biotech Advisory Council Member. Volker holds a degree in Chemistry (Vordiplom) from Universität Hamburg in Germany, and a PH.D. in Chemistry from Rice University, Houston, Texas, studying the Biosynthesis of Antibiotics from Fermentation. He had a Post-Doc appointment at the University of Hawaii, working on marine and algal natural products and the biosynthesis and novel structure elucidations of Cyanobacteria. Volker has also completed extensive Executive education at Harvard Business School.
When not in the office or traveling on business, Volker is teaching and mentoring students as an Adjunct Professor at NC State University, or roaming the great outdoors either skiing, kayaking or on foot with his dogs or enjoying wood working and designing and creating fine furniture.