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Bayer opens new wheat breeding centre in Germanyqrcode

Jun. 7, 2012

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Jun. 7, 2012

Bayer CropScience has opened a new European Wheat Breeding Center in Gatersleben, in the Saxony-Anhalt region of Germany, in order to develop new, high-quality wheat varieties against the backdrop of a growing world population. Work has begun in greenhouses and laboratories on an approximately 1,400 m2 facility at the Biotechpark Gatersleben Infrastruktur GmbH site. As well as developing wheat varieties with higher yields and enhanced properties for the central European market, the 40 employees in Gatersleben will also coordinate all of Bayer's wheat-breeding activities in Europe. Bayer invests some EUR 720 million worldwide in the research and development of crop protection agents and seeds every year. It is planned to increase this budget to approximately EUR 850 million by 2015.

"The inauguration of the European Wheat Breeding Center is another important milestone for our activities in the area of seeds and traits," said Professor Dr. Wolfgang Plischke, member of the Bayer AG Board of Management responsible for Innovation, Technology and Sustainability, at the opening ceremony. "It is an enormous challenge for scientists all over the world to safeguard and improve the global food supply. As a scientific company, we at Bayer want to make our contribution towards achieving this goal, in line with our mission 'Science For A Better Life'," said Plischke in his opening address. As the amount of land available for agricultural use cannot be enlarged, it will be essential in the future to use all available methods to achieve substantially larger harvests. Molecular breeding could be particularly helpful to deliver new solutions, added Plischke.

As Saxony-Anhalt's Minister for Science and Economy Professor Birgitta Wolff explained, "The opening of the European Wheat Breeding Center in Gatersleben is a clear signal of Bayer AG's commitment to Saxony-Anhalt as a center for biotechnology, and is reinforced by Bayer's decision to coordinate its entire wheat-breeding activities from Gatersleben in the future. We have a classic win/win situation here: the Biotechpark Gatersleben offers the ideal infrastructure for Bayer, while the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Research will benefit from the new Wheat Breeding Center with an intensive exchange of personnel."


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