Syngenta launches innovation, collaboration and accelerator platform

16 March 2023 | Muriel Cozier

Shoots by Syngenta gives us access to real, proven data and insight, which can inform and accelerate future science-led breakthroughs.’

Syngenta Group has launched a global platform designed to help tackle agriculture’s ‘most complex challenges, increase innovation, and advance more sustainable agriculture.’ The company says that the Shoots by Syngenta platform will start with science-based innovation challenges and bring together academics, research institutes, start-ups and cross-industry sectors to collaborate with Syngenta’s global network of more than 5000 scientists. The company said that the vision was to create an ‘ecosystem that drives innovation and collaboration in the agricultural industry’.

The platform will also include a start-up accelerator, which the company says will provide a ‘supportive ecosystem for early-stage companies developing new agricultural technologies. It will also connect the new ventures with mentors, resources and funding.

The accelerator will also provide early-stage companies with opportunities to pilot their technologies at Syngenta’s Farm of the Future and selected grower farms around the world. In addition, Syngenta business leaders will provide mentoring customised to the needs of the start-up.

Adding detail on how the platform would work, Gusui Wu, Global Head of Seeds Research said: ‘Shoots by Syngenta will spotlight specific innovation needs from across the Syngenta Crop Protection and Seeds business. Science-based innovation challenges will be posted on the website, enabling anyone with a scientific interest to submit proposals in response to the challenges or other areas of focus. Proposals are quickly evaluated, and if there is a mutual fit, they are progressed to a collaboration partnership to take forward the research of technology that might eventually be licensed.’

‘Shoots by Syngenta gives us access to real, proven data and insight, which can inform and accelerate future science-led breakthroughs,’ added Camilla Corsi, Global Head of Research for Syngenta Crop protection.’ Syngenta is sharing this latest development at the IUPAC International Congress of Crop Protection Chemistry which is being held in New Dehli, India 14-17 March.

The launch comes soon after Syngenta Crop Protection and Aphea.Bio announced a collaboration with the aim of accelerating the introduction of a novel seed treatment that increases wheat yields, while reducing fertiliser use.

The seed treatment developed by Aphea.Bio is a biostimulant, which the company says is based on beneficial organisms. By improving the crop’s nutrient efficiency it allows for up to a five percent increase in wheat yield even with reduced use of fertilisers. Called ACTIV, the partners say that the biostimulant, which contains a proprietary bacterial strain of the genus Stenotrophomonas rhizophila, which through several modes of action contributes to improved growth of wheat treated with the product, will providing an ‘additional building block in the strategy to achieving healthy soils by supporting crops through beneficial microorganisms.’ The product also has the potential to contribute to a goal of the European Union’s Green Deal in reducing the use of fertilisers, the partners added.

Jonathan Brown, Head of Global Seedcare at Syngenta Crop Protection commented: ‘[The collaboration] demonstrates our commitment to bringing novel, nutrient use efficiency solutions to growers, helping safeguard yields if nitrogen inputs are reduced.’

Isabel Vercauteren, CEO and co-founder of Aphea.Bio, which was founded in 2016 as a spin-off from the Flemish Institute of Biotechnology and its partner universities said: ‘We are joining forces to build a more sustainable and profitable future for European farmers and this is just the beginning.’

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