Monsanto opens first biotechnology research center in China
Nov. 5, 2009
Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) announced that it is opening its first research center in China, further demonstrating its commitment to forming technology collaborations in the country.
The Monsanto Biotechnology Research Center in Zhongguancun, Beijing, will strengthen the companys ties with Chinese research institutions in plant biotechnology and genomics.
The new research center is an extension of the companys commitment to doubling yields in its core crops by 2030 compared to a base year of 2000, while reducing the amount of inputs required per unit produced by a third. Monsanto currently invests more than $2 million a day in research in order to meet this commitment to global agriculture.
The Beijing research center will participate in early-stage bioinformatics and genomics research, and serve as a base for collaborations with Chinese scientists. Monsanto also has research centers in the United States, Brazil and India.
"Monsanto has made a commitment to collaborate with Chinese scientists on advanced biotech and breeding technology," said Stephen Padgette, vice president of biotechnology for Monsanto. "Monsanto has made a commitment to develop advanced biotech and breeding technology to China. The establishment of the center will give Chinese researchers access to our global research network and to our industry-leading product development pipeline."
"We are pleased that Monsanto, the leading agricultural biotech company, is setting up a research center in China. Biotech is an important solution to increase crop productivity. Technology innovation and improvement will be determining factors for agriculture sustainability," said Zhai Huqu, president of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science (CAAS). "Strengthening the exchange of information and creating a technology collaboration platform is crucial for technological innovation. CAAS has worked with Monsanto in the past and this is a great opportunity to expand that collaboration."
Recently, Monsanto announced a collaboration with Huazhong Agricultural University to further gene discovery and the development of novel biotechnology traits. The company also established a RMB 1 million scholarship at the university to encourage students to pursue careers in biotechnology research.
Prof. Qifa Zhang, a leading scientist at Huazhong Agricultural University, congratulated Monsanto on the establishment of the research center.
"The establishment of the center will have a key role in further strengthening our collaboration, and speeding up commercialization and marketing of new technology," Zhang said.
China has already made many achievements in agricultural research, said John McLean, general manager of the research center.
"We hope to work closely with Chinese scientists and researchers on innovation in agricultural biotechnology. Establishing a research center in China is a good platform for exchange of information and collaboration between Monsanto and Chinese researchers," McLean said. "We already work with several research institutions and universities on novel agricultural traits. We firmly believe that technological advances will increase productivity and contribute to finding solutions to the challenges facing agriculture."
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