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Bayer and Rothamsted Research sign strategic framework agreement

Digitalization of field trial operations / Detection, monitoring and forecasting of pests and diseases / Novel targets for insect pest, weed and disease control / New tools for resistance management / Customized agronomic solutions for farmers to deliver sustainable agriculture


WEBWIRE

Monheim, August 1, 2017 – Bayer and Rothamsted Research have entered into a strategic framework agreement to improve collaborations in scientific areas that will support the development of more customized agronomic solutions for farmers.

Building on a track record of collaborations, the partners are forming this strategic alliance to support a digital revolution for detecting and managing biotic threats such as pests, pathogens and weeds more sustainably. Co-ordinated activities, in the laboratory and in the field, will generate the data, know-how, tools and technologies that help to support a transition to smarter crop protection. 

The partners will work together in a number of research areas: from real-time detection of pests in the environment to understanding the evolution of resistance; and from the identification of new modes of action of insecticides to novel approaches to controlling pests.

“The strategic alliance with Rothamsted will help us find further sustainable solutions for the challenges that we face in modern agriculture. Bundling the expertise, know-how and exchange of ideas will lead to further innovation in our company,” said Dr. Adrian Percy, Global Head of Research and Development at Crop Science, a division of Bayer. “Crops are exposed to a wide range of both biotic and abiotic stresses, and we expect our enhanced collaboration with Rothamsted to help us develop a better understanding of how these factors can be more sustainably managed to reduce crop losses worldwide and manage resistance more effectively.”

“At the heart of our research lies the need to feed a growing world population in a more sustainable manner,” said Achim Dobermann, Director and Chief Executive of Rothamsted. “Although research institutions such as ours can contribute much in addressing that challenge, we need to partner with others, including industry, to achieve real breakthroughs and have bigger impacts. This alliance will provide us with a whole new opportunity to work together on complex challenges, towards making farming more precise, more productive … and more sustainable.”

“We are absolutely convinced that Digital Farming will revolutionize agriculture,” Tobias Menne, Head of Digital Farming at Bayer pointed out. “New technologies that detect stress factors long before they become visible to the human eye can help farmers to make better informed decisions earlier and more precisely. Fertilizer and crop protection can be applied at the best possible time and at the optimal dosage, using no more or less than needed by the plant.”

Menne added: “Innovative digital solutions, which combine data, agricultural knowledge and farming experience, help farmers to increase their profitability and take further steps towards a more sustainable way of farming.”

“Over the years we have conducted many projects in collaboration with Bayer, in the areas of both animal health and crop science,” said Lin Field, Head of Biointeractions and Crop Protection at Rothamsted. “These collaborations have allowed us, for instance, to take our fundamental knowledge of insecticide mode of action and resistance into the wider agrochemical industry to support more sustainable use of insecticides for both veterinary applications and crop protection.”

Field added: “A major ongoing project concerns ‘bee toxicogenomics’, which seeks to understand how bees metabolise insecticides and to inform the design of more selective chemistry. The new alliance will foster and support further collaborations and exchanges of ideas in areas of science and innovation that are of great importance for everyone.”

Progress towards more sustainable practices is moving at an unprecedented rate. The agricultural environment is now one in which data can be collated and accessed electronically to model and forecast quickly how threats are evolving, and so provide farmers with better and more timely guidance.

Bayer: Science For A Better Life

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2016, the Group employed around 115,200 people and had sales of EUR 46.8 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.6 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.7 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.

About Rothamsted Research

Rothamsted Research is the oldest agricultural research institute in the world. We work from gene to field with a proud history of ground-breaking discoveries. Our founders, in 1843, were the pioneers of modern agriculture, and we are known for our imaginative science and our collaborative influence on fresh thinking and farming practices. Through independent science and innovation, we make significant contributions to improving agri-food systems in the UK and internationally. In the UK the cumulative impact of our work exceeds £3000 million a year. Our strength lies in our systems approach, which combines science and strategic research, supported by unique capabilities and interdisciplinary teams, and strengthened by partnerships. Rothamsted is home to three unique resources open to researchers from all over the world: the Long-Term Experiments, Rothamsted Insect Survey and the North Wyke Farm Platform. We are strategically funded by the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), with additional support from other national and international funding streams, and from industry. 
For more information visit www.rothamsted.ac.uk.

Forward-Looking Statements 
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.


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