How Riverside Lured ISCA Technologies to Uproot Global Agriculture |


Revealed: 10/22/21

The ISCA group and its drone software. Courtesy ISCA Utilized sciences. 

Weekends at his household’s farms in Southern Brazil wright here he performed with animals are the childhood reminiscences Agenor Mafra-Neto holds pricey. He was Solely a boy when he realized an indiscriminate use of pesticides did extra harm than good on land he felt referred to as To shield. 

This awakening put Mafra-Neto on a path to create options for crop shieldion that have been safer for the planet by turning Right into an acclaimed entomologist and chemical ecologist. All roads led to Riverside wright here Mafra-Neto based ISCA Utilized sciences in 1996. It’s a inexperienced biotech agency that produces The subsequent period of environmentally sustainable insect administrations.  

“Riverside was constructed on agriculture with a rising financial system already in place,” Mafra-Neto said on head-quartering tright here at a time when he might have gone anywright here.

 Agenor Mafra-Neto working To regulate the nutcase bearer, a pest of pecans, in 1998. Courtesy ISCA Utilized sciences. 

ISCA means “lure” in Portuguese — becoming as a Outcome of The agency makes use of pheromones and completely different naturally occurring compounds referred to as semiochemicals To administration the conduct of animals by steering them Astray. ISCA merchandise repel bugs Similar to bark beetles amethod from timber of worth and inform honeybees wright here to pollinate based mostly on these semiochemical cues.

“We trick everyfactor from tiny bugs To huge elephants into doing what We would like earlier than they Discover your self to be A drawback,” Mafra-Neto said. “What we’re creating right here in Riverside is altering agriculture globally.”

Elephants in Kruger Nationwide Park, South Africa. Courtesy ISCA Utilized sciences. 

In South Africa’s Kruger Nationwide Park, Tright here is a lethal battle between elephants And completely different people as a Outcome of The huge land animals will hop fences to feed on farmers’ crops Similar to sugar cane. To assist resolve the battle, ISCA developed typeulations with bee alarm pheromones to spray fences To securely repel elephants after discovering they wouldn’t go shut to one factor believed to be teeming with bees.

“It’s inspiring to see ISCA reply The choice and meet The want with life-altering know-how from Riverside to The The rest of the world,” said,  Councilmember Edwards.

Mafra-Neto said he considers The metropolis an inimitable companion. When ISCA wanted a moist lab to develop typeulations, The metropolis stepped As a lot as share The worth. ISCA unfold the love by turning The mannequin new lab space Right into an incubator to assist startups Contained in the sector. Fascinating work has emerged from the ventures collectively with extraction of supplies from unique crops to wrestle melancholy and most cancers.

 The ISCA Utilized sciences lab in Riverside. Courtesy ISCA Utilized sciences. 

“It’s a snowball influence. The corporations that do properly in Riverside incentivize completely differents To maintain and develop right here,” Mafra-Neto said.

ISCA is undoubtedly Definitely one of many success tales with subsidiaries in 10 nations and substantial gross sales in 30 markets worldwide. In its yard, ISCA employs 40 people in extreme-paying roles.

“The ininformectual performance We now have right here is super,” said Mafra-Neto, referring to recruiting from Riverside’s essential mass Of greater education.


Agenor Mafra-Neto harvesting cotton from Brazil. Courtesy ISCA Utilized sciences. 

“ISCA has made An unimaginable influence on transtypeing Riverside Right into a biotech touchdown spot,” said, Councilmember Edwards.

“What quantity of alternatives do You’ve in a lifetime to type The biggest method forward for an enterprise and a metropolis?” Mafra-Neto contemplated wright hereas vowing to assist Riverside “develop as quick as Irvine.”  

For Particulars about ISCA Utilized sciences, go to