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Syngenta breaks ground for the first foreign-invested biotech research institution


Syngenta today held a ground-breaking ceremony for the permanent site of Syngenta Biotechnology (China) Co., Ltd. - facilities that will help accelerate scientific discoveries and biotech innovation, and complement work being carried out at Syngenta Biotechnology Inc. based in the United States.


The event brought together over 200 participants, among them Deputy Mayor of Beijing, officials from the Municipal Government and the Changping District Government, representatives from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, local authorities, and Syngenta global R&D leadership.


Syngenta Biotechnology (China) Co. Ltd., the first foreign-invested biotech research institution in China, officially started operations in October 2008, at Zhongguancun Life Science Park in Beijing. The center focuses on agronomic traits for key crops such as corn and soybean, in the areas of yield improvement, water optimization, disease control and biomass conversion for biofuels. The center currently employs approximately 70 researchers and staff. The establishment of the permanent facilities is another milestone that further proves Syngenta’s long-term commitment to the region.


Spanning over 25,000 square meters, Syngenta Biotechnology China facilities will include a research and office building equipped with the-state-of-the-art laboratories, an advanced greenhouse facility, and space for future expansion. Scheduled to be completed in 2011, the biotech center will be home to up to 200 scientists conducting research programs key to agricultural biotechnology innovation. The center will also work as a hub for collaborations with leading academics across the Asia-Pacific region. Syngenta has committed with an estimated total investment of over USD 100 million in the initial five years.


"Syngenta already has a strong history of excellence in agricultural technology innovation and collaboration,” says Alejandro Aruffo, Head of Syngenta Global R&D. “Our biotech facilities in Beijing, established now for over one year, have enhanced our efficiency and capability to deliver novel solutions to growers around the world.”


"China is now well-recognized as an emerging biotech innovation powerhouse. The Chinese government has made a strong commitment to developing agricultural biotechnology to ensure food security,” says Xun Wang, President, Syngenta Biotechnology (China) Co., Ltd. “Since our establishment in the Zhongguancun Life Science Park in Beijing last year, we have effectively expanded our existing capabilities and strengthened our collaboration with local academics. Our permanent facilities – which will be the first of its kind to be constructed in the country - allow us to build upon an already strong biotech foundation. It will enable us to work more closely with the Chinese government and research institutes, and create the best environment designed to stimulate innovation and promote collaboration.”


"Syngenta is a world leader in agricultural technology with the first foreign-funded agricultural biotech center in Beijing,” says Yongbiao Xue, Director, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, in his congratulations. “I am convinced that its permanent facilities will help promote communications among scientists home and abroad, thus creating mutual benefits that will help drive the advancement and innovation of agricultural biotechnology.


China is both an important producing and consuming agricultural country. Syngenta is expanding its partnerships to contribute to further growth in Chinese agriculture with seeds and crop protection technology. In 2007, Syngenta entered into a five-year research collaboration with the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology (IGDB) in Beijing on research in novel traits for key crops. In early 2009, Syngenta agreed an eight-year research collaboration with Anhui Rice Research Institute (ARRI) of Anhui Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and later a three-year research collaboration with China Agricultural University (CAU), aiming at discovering key agronomic traits, valuable for China and global agriculture.


Syngenta is one of the world's leading companies with more than 24,000 employees in over 90 countries dedicated to our purpose: Bringing plant potential to life. Through world-class science, global reach and commitment to our customers we help to increase crop productivity, protect the environment and improve health and quality of life. For more information about us please go to