Ludwigshafen, Germany and Ghent, Belgium – October 17, 2013 – Today, BAS F has opened a new facility in the Ghent region, one of the leading centers for European plant biotechnology research. BASF’s subsidiary CropDesign has moved into a new wing of the Bio-Accelerator building in Technologiepark Ghent. The facility comprises 4,000 square meters for labs and offices and a state-of-the-art rooftop greenhouse.
“BASF benefits from the close proximity to excellent world renowned institutions like VIB – the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology,” said Peter Eckes, President of BASF Plant Science. “The move helps strengthen our research collaborations with local partners and demonstrates BASF’s commitment to modern agricultural solutions.”
Daniël Termont, mayor of the City of Ghent, and other guests from politics, business and academia took part at the opening ceremony. “Ghent is a birth place of plant biotechnology and provides some of its best innovations. We are glad that CropDesign is part of this important science hub,” said Daniël Termont.
The new facility in the recently constructed wing two of the Bio-Accelerator building includes four floors with labs and offices, one technical floor plus a rooftop greenhouse of 600 square meters for rice research and product development. Altogether the new facility comprises 4,000 square meters.
“Since the acquisition by BASF in 2006, CropDesign has doubled its workforce and outgrown its facility. Now we have more space for interaction between scientists and for testing our new technologies,” said Wim van Camp, Managing Director of CropDesign. “With our technology platform TraitMillTM, we test more than 140,000 rice plants per year and identify yield enhancing traits for our global projects.”
Currently BASF Plant Science employs approximately 145 employees in the Ghent region working at two facilities located in the Technologiepark in Ghent’s borough Zwijnaarde and in Nevele. Earlier investments by BASF in the Ghent region were in 2008 the construction of a processing building of 730 square meters, and a new greenhouse in 2011 of 800 square meters to increase throughput and improve quality of the TraitMillTM platform.
BASF Plant Science’s global headquarters is located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and focusses on main markets for plant biotechnology solutions in the Americas and Asia. BASF Plant Science conducts industry leading research at two sites in North America and at three European sites in Ghent, Berlin and Limburgerhof, Germany. Last month BASF inaugurated a $33 million facility expansion in Research Triangle Park to enable further innovation in crop protection and plant biotechnology research.
About BASF Plant Science
BASF Plant Science – a BASF group company – is one of the world’s leading companies providing innovative plant biotechnology solutions for agriculture and helping farmers meet the growing demand for improved agricultural productivity and healthier nutrition. BASF Plant Science is where Innovation Yields Results and has developed an unparalleled gene discovery platform focusing on yield and quality traits in crops such as corn, soybean and rice. Jointly with leading partners in the seed industry BASF Plant Science is commercializing its products. Current projects include higher yielding row crops and higher content of specific omega-3’s (EPA/DHA) in oil crops for preventing cardiovascular diseases. Further information on BASF Plant Science is available on the Internet at http://www.basf.com/plantscience.
CropDesign was founded in 1998 as a spin-off from the VIB (Flanders Institute for Biotechnology) and University of Ghent. Since June 2006 CropDesign has been part of BASF Plant Science. The company’s trait discovery program is powered by the TraitMillTM platform, a unique platform for applied genomics. TraitMillTM comprises a set of high-throughput processes for gene identification, cloning and plant engineering, as well as for the high-resolution phenotypic analysis of plants through automated screening methods. Further information on CropDesign is available on the internet at http://www.cropdesign.com.
BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Through science and innovation, we enable our customers in nearly every industry to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring nutrition and improving quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF had sales of €72.1 billion in 2012 and more than 110,000 employees as of the end of the year. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN).