In September 2012, we named the POS complex after our first Executive Director and current Board Chair: Mr. John Cross.
John is the first to identify the importance of family and in particular, the loving and full support he received from his cherished wife Charlotte, who passed away in 2008. Mr. Cross built POS Pilot Plant from its creation, establishing a team of research scientists, technicians, and operators to develop innovative new products to enrich the prairie economy. He created the conditions which later allowed POS to collaborate in the successful development of world firsts: canola oil and deheated mustard – each now widely used around the globe in many applications. Thanks to the culture of commercial orientation John instilled during the early years of POS, the geographical basis of POS’s clientele has expanded from one country in its first year of operation, to 40 countries by 2011. Over that same time period, the commercialized technologies resulting from clients’ work at POS, having now created some 62,000 jobs and over $6 billion in new sales.
In 1980 Mr. Cross was once again at the vanguard of agricultural advancement when he and two partners founded Saskatchewan’s first biotechnology company: Philom Bios. It was his vision for Saskatchewan to become the global centre for agricultural biotech research and commercialization. Based on the commercial value of a microbe, Philom Bios created an entirely new category of agricultural inputs – inoculants. Inoculants allow farmers to increase productivity without chemicals. Products included JumpStart, the world’s first commercial phosphate inoculant, and TagTeam, the world’s first combination nitrogen and phosphate inoculant. At the time of the company’s 2007 sale to multinational Novozymes Biologicals, it was calculated that the product “JumpStart” alone had increased farmers’ income in Western Canada by C$48 million.
John returned to the POS Board in 2009, becoming the Board Chairman in 2012.
The complex is now known as the John and Charlotte Cross BioSciences Centre.