Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc., (SBI), celebrates its 25th anniversary as a world-class facility for crop genetics research and discovery. SBI, located in Research Triangle Park, NC, opened its doors in 1984 and since then has expanded into nearly 200,000 square feet of laboratories, offices, and greenhouses. The facility serves as the key North American location for plant gene technology research for Syngenta, and employs more than 400 staff.
SBI was founded with the principle of delivering innovation in plant biotechnology. Syngenta uses these technologies to develop crops with improved yields which help growers meet their production goals.
“SBI remains a leader in developing new products that help farmers meet the demands of a growing global population,” says SBI president and global head of biotechnology R&D Michiel van Lookeren Campagne. “SBI is home to some of the key genetic research milestones in agriculture and continues to combine technology with talent and expertise to create innovative new tools and integrated solutions for growers.”
Syngenta is growing its biotechnology research and development operations both in North Carolina and globally. In the past month, SBI has leased 100,000 more square feet of space and signed an agreement to purchase an additional 50 acres of land for potential future expansion.
Key milestones that SBI has achieved in the past 25 years include:
- Bt176, the first genetically modified corn product ever to be sold and planted by U.S. corn growers.
- Donation of new Golden Rice, which increase pro-Vitamin A levels more than 20-fold over the original Golden Rice, to the Golden Rice Humanitarian Board for developing countries.
- Invention of MIR604 (marketed as the Agrisure RW trait), which protects corn from several species of corn rootworm.
- Stacked combinations of corn traits to protect against corn rootworm and European corn borer, and provide glyphosate and glufosinate tolerance. The double stack is marketed as the Agrisure CB/LL/RW stack and the triple stack is marketed as the Agrisure 3000GT stack.
- MIR162, a new insect control event in development for corn, which will be marketed as the Agrisure Viptera trait following receipt of all regulatory approvals, contains the Vip3A protein and protects against one of the broadest ranges of lepidopteran corn insect pests to date.
In addition to SBI, the sister site, Syngenta Biotechnology China Co. Ltd., was opened in Beijing. It is the first foreign-funded agricultural biotech research institution in China, now with more than 70 employees.