Aug. 28, 2013
Building on the success of their collaboration in wheat breeding, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and Bayer CropScience are working together again — this time to develop new soybean varieties. NUtech Ventures, the technology commercialization arm of the University, signed a nonexclusive license agreement with Bayer CropScience on May 1, 2013.
This university-industry collaboration focuses on UNL’s soybean germplasm, the genetic material used to develop new soybean varieties. As with the previous wheat deal, the agreement goes well beyond a traditional license to intellectual property.
A major goal of the collaborative work with Bayer CropScience will be to improve yield and develop new soybean traits for growers in Nebraska and throughout the world. The agreement will also provide additional research experience and training for graduate and undergraduate students.
"This agreement is an excellent example of industry-university collaboration, with exchanged germplasm, student internships and scholarships," said David Conrad, Executive Director of NUtech. “The agreement also provides funds to endow a Presidential Chair in soybean breeding, which will ensure long-term sustainability of soybean research at UNL. Skilled soybean breeders are in high demand at companies like Bayer CropScience, so we are pleased that this collaboration will support the training of new breeders.”
Bayer CropScience can couple its significant R&D resources with the materials developed at UNL to create new lines of soybean varieties suitable for diverse climate conditions across the world.
“We are happy to partner with the UNL soybean breeding program to help deliver Bayer traits,” said Chris Tinius, Global Soybean Breeding Director, Bayer CropScience. “The UNL program is known for its long track record of releasing high-yielding varieties, and by showcasing our traits in these superior varieties, we hope to bring even greater value to soybean farmers across the Midwest.”
"The non-exclusive agreement with Bayer CropScience is generous in recognizing the needs and encouraging the broader benefits to University programs, Nebraska, and the industry as a whole," said George Graef, Professor of Agronomy and Horticulture at UNL. "I feel honored to be involved in this and excited about what we will achieve."
Graef noted that support from the Nebraska Soybean Board has, for the past 25 years, provided the foundation for UNL’s soybean breeding and genetics research and development
program. “It is with support from the soybean growers through the Nebraska Soybean Board that we have been able to develop the high-quality soybean breeding program that we have today,” he added.
“The soybean industry is big business in Nebraska, with over 207 million bushels grown each year. We are excited about the current opportunities this agreement establishes for the soybean industry in Nebraska and even more excited about the future impact our partnership will have on our state, region and world," Green said.
About NUtech Ventures
NUtech Ventures is a nonprofit organization established in Lincoln, NE, to form innovative partnerships between University of Nebraska researchers and the private sector. As R&D matchmakers, NUtech connects innovators with the people and resources they need to start companies, develop products, and create jobs. For additional information, please visit NUtech’s website at www.NUtechVentures.org.
About Bayer CropScience
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. This year the company is celebrating 150 years of Bayer – consistent with its mission “Bayer: Science For A Better Life”. Bayer CropScience, the subgroup of Bayer AG responsible for the agricultural business, has annual sales of EUR 8,383 million (2012) and is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of seeds, crop protection and non-agricultural pest control. The company offers an outstanding range of products including high value seeds, innovative crop protection solutions based on chemical and biological modes of action as well as an extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture. In the area of non-agricultural applications, Bayer CropScience has a broad portfolio of products and services to control pests from home and garden to forestry applications. The company has a global workforce of 20,800 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at: www.press.bayercropscience.com.