Spotlight on…. Guido Maffioli

Once again, we are spotlighting individual members of the AlphaBio Team, each time exploring their position in the company, their motivation and a quick peep into their lives outside working hours. All in four questions!

This month we caught up with Dr Guido Maffioli:

Q1 How would you introduce yourself?

Hello, my name is Guido Maffioli and I am Director of Regulatory Affairs for AlphaBio. I live in Milan in northern Italy but my family are originally from rural Tuscany and Florence. With a PhD in the Ecology of Agriculture from the University of Milan, I started as one of the first employees in AlphaBio in 2015 as Product Manager and then moved to be Director of Regulatory Affairs and Technical Development in 2018 before taking on my current role this year.

Q2 What does your role in AlphaBio entail?

Plant protection products are strictly regulated around the world, and although biocontrol is rightly our focus, there are still significant regulatory constraints. My role is to develop the regulatory plan to ensure our biocontrol solutions are registered with robust and coherent regulatory dossiers with the goal of getting our bio-insecticide FLiPPER registered in as many countries as possible. And we are successful – 26 countries and counting! Likewise, with our bio-herbicide, MiSSiTO, and our upcoming bio-fungicides. I do not write the dossier but every word has to be checked to ensure that it is scientifically correct and cannot be ‘misunderstood’. To meet these challenging goals, I coordinate with our lead regulatory consultants, Evelyne Güsken and Kostas Markakis, and with Anna Slater, our Regulatory Administrator in the AlphaBio team, and a network of consultants to help us spread the work around and interact with regulatory authorities.

Q3 What do you like about working for AlphaBio?

Ha – there are so many reasons! Firstly, before joining AlphaBio, I worked for 15 years in very large seeds, crop protection and fertiliser companies, so going to a really small entrepreneurial company with a new vision and an original focus on higher value crops rather than commodity crops, was really exciting. I had to learn quickly a completely new way of working – but I love learning new things so this was a great experience.

We have built a highly motivated team in AlphaBio, and I love being in that environment, working really efficiently and effectively and highly successfully even though we work remotely in different countries.

I love my role in the company; it is not a role that everyone would enjoy but regulatory affairs is the real link between science and marketing.

There is a paradigm shift in thinking around agriculture, especially in Europe, with more farmers and politicians becoming interested in biocontrol options to replace pesticides. I am proud to be part of that thinking; we can reduce the environmental impact of agriculture and reduce the human footprint on our world. If we can achieve that, our children can be proud too.

Q4 Finally, what do you like to do outside of work?

Well, I have three kids and my partner, Claudia, has two daughters so I am always busy, even when I’m not working. We love travelling together. Nevertheless, I have always been very interested in politics, right from being a student rep at university, being involved in parent associations at my children’s school and even being a political party candidate in local elections.

I also work with a charity helping immigrants blocked at the European Union borders in the Balkans. Some of that is supporting with direct aid in the form of food and clothing but I am also involved in communicating on their plight.

And in my spare time (!), I love my music and art; for example, I play guitar with a group playing mainly 1970’s and 1980’s music.

Guido was interviewed by Julian Little. Want to know more about Guido and the AlphaBio Team? Then take a look at The Team page on our website.