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July 16, 2024
Agribusiness Featured News Technology

Syngenta opens rights to genome-editing and breeding technologies to boost agricultural innovation

Syngenta Group, one of the world’s largest agricultural technology companies, will provide rights to selected genome-editing and breeding technologies for academic research globally, as part of its commitment to foster innovation and drive sustainability in agriculture. These rights are accessible through its innovation collaboration platform Shoots by Syngenta.

The rights to certain intellectual property are related to optimized CRISPR-Cas12a as well as to gene-editing enabled breeding tools. Through CRISPR gene-editing, it is possible to deliver an improved plant that does not include DNA from a different species – more quickly and efficiently than otherwise possible in nature or through conventional breeding methods.

“The power of CRISPR technology has incredible potential to enable crop innovation to deliver value to farmers,” says Gusui Wu, Head of Global Seeds Research at Syngenta. “The increased use of CRISPR in agriculture can transform the way we approach plant breeding, accelerating the discovery and deployment of innovations that provide growers more productive and resilient crops. We are inviting universities and academic institutions from around the world to help us drive innovation to improve the sustainability of agriculture.”

As a leader in this wave of technological innovation, Syngenta scientists have been continuously innovating to improve CRISPR-Cas genome editing technologies. Syngenta’s scientists have engineered CRISPR Cas12a to increase both its efficiency as well as utility, significantly optimizing it as a tool for crop improvement. 

Syngenta has long been open to sharing technology with public and private entities, enabling straightforward, quick, and easy access to its proprietary technologies for academic and non-profit research use. One example is Syngenta’s vegetable licensing platform, which allows breeding companies and academic institutes to access and breed with Syngenta germplasm.  

The Shoots by Syngenta global innovation collaboration platform was created in 2023 with a goal to create partnerships aimed at finding solutions to some of the most complex challenges in food and agriculture. It brings together the external innovation ecosystem – comprising academics, research institutes, and other entities – together with Syngenta’s global network of more than 6,000 scientists, to develop solutions that mitigate climate change, enhance biodiversity, and better serve smallholder as well as large-scale farmers. The platform is built upon the values of openness and transparency.

“At Syngenta, we truly believe that collaboration accelerates innovation,” says Stuart Harrison, Head of Global Seeds R&D Partnerships. “This new initiative has tremendous potential to not only result in exciting technology innovations, but to also drive critical crop solutions that will support farmers worldwide.”

Adrian Percy, Executive Director of the North Carolina Plant Sciences Initiative, states: “By accessing these innovative technologies from Syngenta, the North Carolina Plant Sciences Initiative and North Carolina State University can more broadly accelerate its capabilities in genome editing.  We are excited about the application of these technologies in our research programs as they will certainly enable improvement to a variety of crops to the benefit of the grower community.”

A simple, streamlined process has been established for licensing the technologies. Additional information regarding the available technologies can be searched via the online catalogue on the Shoots by Syngentawebsite at https://shootsbysyngenta.com/outlicensing.

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