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Syngenta opens new biotech research center in Bejing


Syngenta today celebrated the opening of its new biotech research & technology center at ZhongGuanCun Life Science Park in Beijing, bringing together over 100 participants, among them officials from the Beijing municipal government, officials from the Beijing Science & Technology commission, local authorities, executives from neighboring companies, as well as members of Syngenta global management.

The new center, Syngenta Biotechnology (China) Co Ltd, started its operations in a temporarily leased facility, until the adjacent new-build facility will be completed in 2010. The biotech center initially employs some 100 researchers and staff, but will grow to around 200 when the new facilities have been completed. Total investment amounts to approximately CNY 443 million in the first five years.

"China is increasingly recognized for the scale and caliber of its biotech expertise in agriculture,” says Wang Xun, President, Syngenta Biotechnology China. “Now that we have our own research base in Beijing, we can accelerate innovation and offer powerful opportunities to work more closely with Chinese research institutes, which is all the more relevant in a world that sees higher global demand for crops.”

The research center will focus on early-stage evaluation of genetically modified and native traits for key crops such as corn and soy, in the areas of yield improvement, water optimization, disease control and biomass conversion for biofuels. The facility will have a global scope and will complement Syngenta’s biotech research activities in the U.S.

After the opening ceremony, Dr. David Lawrence, Head of Syngenta R&D, Dr. Martin Clough, Head of Syngenta Biotech R&D and Dr. Xun Wang, President of Syngenta Biotechnology China held a media briefing to introduce Syngenta’s achievements in promoting sustainable agriculture, as well as its biotech research strategy and perspective.

China is both an important producing and consuming agricultural region. Syngenta is expanding its partnerships to contribute to further growth in Chinese agriculture with seeds and crop protection technology. Earlier this year, Syngenta completed the share transaction with leading Chinese corn seeds company Sanbei Seed Co Ltd in Hebei province, in which it has taken a 49% stake. Last year, Syngenta entered into a five-year research collaboration with the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology (IGDB) in Beijing on the development of novel agronomic traits for key crops such as corn, soybean, wheat, sugar beet and sugar cane.

Syngenta is a world-leading agribusiness committed to sustainable agriculture through innovative research and technology. The company is a leader in crop protection, and ranks third in the high-value commercial seeds market. Sales in 2007 were approximately $9.2 billion. Syngenta employs over 21,000 people in more than 90 countries. Syngenta is listed on the Swiss stock exchange (SYNN) and in New York (SYT). Further information is available at