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Syngenta Biotechnology China officially opens its new research facility in Beijing


On Oct 11, 2012, Syngenta Biotechnology China (SBC) officially opened its new research facility in the Zhongguancun Life Sciences Park, Beijing, China.

On Oct 11, 2012, Syngenta Biotechnology China (SBC) officially opened its new research facility in the Zhongguancun Life Sciences Park, Beijing, China. More than 100 guests were present at the opening ceremony including the Vice-Mayor of Beijing, senior leaders of the city government and key collaborators. Syngenta colleagues from our R&D community included Rolf Furter, Head of Seeds R&D, and Michiel van Lookeren Campagne, Head of Biotechnology.

SBC’s Beijing facility is one of Syngenta’s major global research centres. Its research focus includes early-stage evaluation of new biotechnology traits for key crops such as corn and soy, in the areas of yield improvement, water optimization, and pest resistance. SBC has a global scope and complements Syngenta’s biotech research activities in the USA and elsewhere.

First established in 2008, SBC is the first foreign-funded agricultural biotech research institution in China. Its new state-of-the-art facility covers 17,000 square metres, including a working greenhouse, and currently houses about 150 professionals. The official opening ceremony attracted high level participation from Beijing Municipal Government officials, who appreciate Syngenta’s investment in agriculture biotech R&D in Beijing and our reputation in the local community.

In his opening speech, the Vice Mayor of Beijing, Gou Zhong Wen, said that Syngenta’s research centre adds to the research capacity of the city. The municipal government aims to make Beijing a seeds research hub by 2020 and international companies like Syngenta can inject new knowledge and talent that will help the development of the research industry.

“As a world-class research facility, SBC has attracted R&D talents from around the world to Beijing,” said David O’Reilly, Head of SBC, in his welcome speech at the ceremony. At the same time, Syngenta benefits from the existing, rich supply of research talent and the priority that the government places on agricultural research.

“When we were considering a suitable location for this Centre, Beijing came in first on our selection list because of the city government support for R&D and its conducive environment for innovation,” said Rolf Furter, Head of Seeds R&D. “There was also a pool of some of the best biotechnology scientists and researchers, which would mean many opportunities for collaborations.”

This focus on collaborations was exemplified by the 7th Syngenta International Conference was held at SBC’s research centre on Oct 11th and 12th, in conjunction with the opening ceremony. The conference gathered selected eminent scientists from top Chinese universities and institutes, as well as Syngenta experts from our research and development organization. Designed to provide an ideal platform for today’s leading scientists to share, learn and network, the conference was attended by over 70 potential collaborators, current partners, Syngenta scientists and SBC staff.