Syngenta and NRGene Expand Collaboration
Syngenta, a global leading agrochemical and seed company, and NRGene, the premier genomic big data company, have continued to advance their cooperation in breeding and trait discovery in key crops.
Syngenta has licensed NRGene’s GenoMAGICTM, a cloud-based big data analytics platform, to evaluate, predict, compare and select the best genetic makeup for crop molecular breeding and genomic selection. The agreement is on a non-exclusive, multi-year basis.
The GenoMAGIC system will be implemented in Syngenta’s advanced R&D pipeline and will influence key decision making for hardier, more productive crops.
GenoMAGICTM reveals the broad genetic diversity of crop plants and optimizes the use of genetic diversity throughout the breeding pipeline. Syngenta was an early adopter of GenoMAGIC and has demonstrated the significant advantages of using NRGene’s pangenome approach to haplotyping.
“NRGene’s GenoMAGIC system is an enabler for us to unlock the full potential of the genetic diversity available within our breeding programs,” said Dr. Michiel van Lookeren Campagne, head Seeds Research at Syngenta. “This next phase in our collaboration should greatly improve our ability to predict performance and accelerate our ability to bring innovation into the hands of growers around the globe.”
“The fact that leading international companies like Syngenta have chosen to adopt GenoMAGIC reinforces the fact that we’re on the right track, developing the big data tools to facilitate cutting-edge, highly sophisticated breeding, adding our modest contribution toward global food security,” said Dr. Gil Ronen, chief executive officer of NRGene. “We look forward to broadening the use of our tools to support the genetic research of plants and animals, as well as humans.”
A New Officer for Sustainability
On the other hand, Syngenta has announced the appointment of Alexandra Brand (pictured), previously regional director for Europe, Africa and Middle East, to the new position of Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO). As CSO, Brand will report directly to CEO Erik Fyrwald.
Alexandra Brand will lead the newly created Business Sustainability Group to evolve existing sustainability initiatives including The Good Growth Plan and to drive forward the company’s sustainability agenda.
Syngenta CEO, Erik Fyrwald, said: “We want to help further shape agriculture and its place in society – the position of CSO will be central in leading this. Alexandra has a real passion for helping farmers to become more productive while managing the impacts of climate change and having to produce more with less,” said Fyrwald.
Alexandra Brand said: “The technology we bring to farmers can help them safely feed the world and take care of our planet – this includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption and soil conservation. We also play a key role in helping to preserve biodiversity and precision technology will be important in all of these areas”.