December 2, 2011


Bayer CropScience sets up new European wheat breeding centre



Bayer CropScience has started its European Wheat Breeding Center in Gatersleben Saxony-Anhalt, Germany starting from December 1 (Thu).


Besides the development of new wheat varieties with higher yields and improved properties for the Central European market, the new centre will also coordinate all of Bayer's wheat-breeding activities in Europe.


A rental agreement for laboratory and greenhouse facilities have been signed with Biotechpark Gatersleben Infrastruktur GmbH. Up to 40 full-time employees will work at the centre in the future. Financial details have not been disclosed.


The centre will be part of Bayer CropScience's global network of wheat-breeding stations. Another centre focused on North America is currently being set up in the vicinity of Lincoln, Nebraska, USA. Additional stations are planned in Europe and Australia with further expansion in Asia and Latin America in the medium term.


A network of alliances with leading international research institutions is also currently being formed to apply the latest advancements in plant biotechnology to wheat research and breeding and thus accelerate variety development process.


"Bayer CropScience recognises that wheat farmers need to improve yields to stay competitive and meet global demands. Our experienced team at the new European Wheat Breeding centre will be able to deliver first-class varieties of wheat adapted to European growing conditions. These new varieties together with our leading crop protection portfolio will enable us to provide solutions supporting a sustainable wheat production from seed to harvest," said Dr. Mathias Kremer, Head of BioScience at Bayer CropScience. "We are pleased to have found the ideal environment and infrastructure in Biotechpark Gatersleben for our breeding centre."


The Minister for Science and Economy in Saxony-Anhalt, Birgitta Wolff, explained: "The establishment of Bayer CropScience's Wheat Breeding centre in Gatersleben is a substantial backing for plant biotechnology in Saxony-Anhalt. This technology is an important cornerstone for the further economic development of the state."


Gatersleben is one of the most important international centres of crop research in Europe. Biotechpark is part of a biotechnology initiative launched by the German state of Saxony-Anhalt. It shares a campus with the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK).

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