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DuPont Boosts Seed Research in Europe to Extend Leadership Position


Two New State-of-the-Art Research Centers to Deliver Higher Yielding Corn and Sunflower Hybrids

LUGANO, Switzerland. – DuPont today announced that it is boosting its seed business in Europe with the opening of two new research centers – one in Italy, the other in Hungary. The new centers build upon a more than 50-year effort by DuPont business, Pioneer Hi-Bred, to deliver higher yielding products to European farmers.

The research centers represent more than a $5 million investment. Pioneer is adding 10 research positions at the new centers to add to the 25 research employees who will be transferring from existing locations. Field and lab research capacity is also being added at the two locations.

“DuPont is aggressively investing in research and development to increase farmer productivity and extend our leadership position in corn, sunflower and oilseed rape in Europe,” said William S. Niebur, vice president -- DuPont Crop Genetics Research and Development. “The opening and expansion of these two new research centers continues our commitment to meet the challenges farmers face in Europe and around the world by providing genetic solutions farm-by-farm, field-by-field and hectare-by-hectare.”

The new research centers are part of a larger increase in research and development across Europe to speed delivery of new, improved products to the market and meet growing demand for food and fuel. Pioneer has increased its research investment in Europe by more than 10 percent in 2008. In addition to the new facilities, Pioneer is expanding research plots by 25 percent, doubling its molecular breeding efforts, and adding 36 new employees along with cutting-edge lab and field equipment.

The Hungarian research center, located in Hódmezővásárhely (southeast Hungary) will expand the current comprehensive breeding, testing and disease characterization programs for sunflowers. The corn breeding program will add an additional maturity to the current efforts combined with enhanced disease and agronomic trait characterization capabilities to meet the specific agronomic needs in this important grain producing region.

The Italian research center located in Pessina Cremonese (Po valley, north central Italy) will also expand maturity coverage and strengthen disease and agronomic trait characterization through field and molecular approaches.

“Today’s announcement builds upon the greater than 50-year commitment that we made to European farmers to increase agricultural productivity,” Niebur said. “Based upon our new technology advances, strong products, and business growth in the region, we have clearly made the right decision.”


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