June 7, 2012
Bayer opens European Wheat Breeding Centre in Gatersleben
Bayer CropScience has opened a new European Wheat Breeding Centre in Gatersleben, Saxony-Anhalt region of Germany.
Work has begun in greenhouses and laboratories on an approximately 1,400 square metre 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 EUR720 million, or US$905 million worldwide in the research and development of crop protection agents and seeds every year. It is planned to increase this budget to approximately EUR850 million, or US$1069 million by 2015.
"The inauguration of the European Wheat Breeding Centre 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. 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.
Dr. Elmar Weissmann, head of the European Wheat Breeding Centre, says, "We are taking over the coordination of the entire wheat-breeding activities in Europe and the networking with our breeding stations for other growing regions of the world."
The technologies being used comprise the entire spectrum of state-of-the-art methodology, including marker-assisted breeding to accelerate the implementation of the declared breeding objectives.
Bayer is the global market and innovation leader in crop protection products for cereals and is pursuing long-term investment in sustainable cereals production.