Bayer inaugurates €45 mn greenhouse insecticide research

Bayer inaugurates €45 mn greenhouse for insecticide research

7:57 AM, 9th January 2018
Bayer inaugurates €45 mn greenhouse for insecticide research
Ribbon-cutting for the inauguration: Adrian Percy, head of R&D; Axel Trautwein, head of small molecules research; Markus Dollinger, head of insecticide research; Daniel Zimmermann, major of the Monheim city; Project lead Torsten Knohl and Bayer site manager Simone Rosche

MONHEIM, GERMANY: Bayer said that it has invested roughly €45 million in the construction of an approximately 11,000 m2 greenhouse at its Monheim site with an adjoining laboratory and office building for insecticide research. The company is aiming to consolidate its leading position in the global pest control market.

The construction of the new greenhouse is Bayer's largest single project in Monheim in an investment program that has totalled around €170 million over the past six years. Aside from new investments, key elements of the growth strategy for crop science include the modernization and targeted expansion of the existing research infrastructure.

Top-notch research will improve Bayer’s ability to develop selective insecticides

Farmers across the world are increasingly facing new pest infestations and mounting resistance to currently available insecticides. Furthermore, tighter regulations result in higher entry barriers for new insecticidal solutions. State-of-the-art research with outstanding technological capabilities is a key factor for the successful development of crop protection innovations, especially insecticides.

The greenhouse will provide 60 employees with optimal conditions for cultivating and testing over 30 different crop species and over 40 in some cases exotic pests and beneficial organisms. The highest biosafety and hygiene standards will ensure work can be carried out on these organisms as well as on transgenic plants and new breeds of plants.

The greenhouse consists of 133 compartments, in which a wide variety of climate conditions can be individually replicated, such as temperature, humidity, length of day, temperature curves, and air filtration. This will allow experiments to be conducted under realistic conditions similar to those found in nature. It will be possible to conduct parallel studies on native and exotic crops using active ingredients currently in development and alternative technologies such as biological crop protection, plant breeding and beneficial-compatible combination strategies.

"The new building will help us overcome one of the fundamental challenges of our times: safeguarding the global supply of food," said Dr Dirk Backhaus, head of product supply and member of the executive committee of Bayer's crop science division, at the inauguration celebration.

"This greenhouse could have been built anywhere in the world. But Germany has substantial advantages as a location: diverse, sustainable agriculture, a high level of education, and a solid knowledge base as well as being attractively situated in a dynamic European environment. As such, this investment also reflects Bayer's commitment to the innovative capacity of Europe, Germany, and specifically to the Monheim research site in North Rhine-Westphalia," added Backhaus.

"The new greenhouse will improve our ability to develop new selective insecticides. We are confident that the innovative products based on the active ingredients that will be developed here will meet the urgent needs of our customers while at the same time supporting sustainable agriculture. In addition to the greenhouse, an adjacent building with 1,200 m2 of laboratory space and 870 m2 of office space will also be available for insecticide research," added Dr Markus Dollinger, head of insecticide research at Bayer.

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