Syngenta to hold IFAJ open day

Syngenta to hold IFAJ open day IFAJ members have an exclusive opportunity to see for themselves – at a member-only open day in October – how Syngenta’s famous United Kingdom research station, Jealott’s Hill, is contributing to advances in worldwide agricultural research and development.

Recognised as a global centre of excellence for agricultural productivity, employing more than 850 people and managing bioscience projects with a combined total of more than £1bn, the Jealott’s Hill research centre is one of the true jewels of the UK’s renowned science and technology base. The invitation follows Syngenta’s recent partnership agreement with IFAJ and comes at a point where Syngenta is evolving its approach to Research & Development to support a commitment ‘to accelerate innovation in a changing world’.

“While UK agriculture clearly benefits from this research being undertaken in the UK, the resource within Jealott’s Hill provides the expertise and reputation in the core scientific skills required to address the global challenges facing the agricultural sector,” says Jim Morton, external relations and partnership manager for Syngenta.

“Housing a number of individual centres of chemical and biological scientific excellence, the site is at the centre of our worldwide R&D activities,” he says.

That’s because Jealott’s Hill is not just Syngenta’s largest site in the UK, but the global agri-tech company’s largest science and research development centre anywhere in the world. From its location near Reading – about 30 miles from London’s Heathrow Airport – it’s responsible for nearly a third of all the collaborative research projects undertaken by Syngenta and provides the sole focus for the company’s global herbicide research.

Other activities at the site, which celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2018, involve the discovery of new active substances, formulation technologies, product safety and research into seeds, particularly wheat.

Academic partners in the UK include the universities nearby at Reading and Oxford, Cambridge University and Imperial College, and leading agricultural research organisations such as Rothamsted and John Innes.

“The universities lead on aspects of the fundamental science,” Jim explains, “which we complete with our own understanding of agronomy and the global marketplace. This collaborative approach enables us to develop innovative solutions to farmers’ challenges, wherever they are in the world.

“Our key themes at Jealott’s Hill are sustainability, precision, and – excitingly – understanding the opportunities afforded by digital farming,” Jim notes.

The press day will take place on October 4, 2019. The limited places available on this occasion – a maximum of ten – will provide the best experience, and opportunities for useful discussion and one- to-one questioning, for those taking part.

IFAJ Treasurer Adrian Bell has been working with Syngenta over the last 12 months to secure the agreement and finalise the benefits to members. “While Syngenta’s partnership brings much- needed funding to support IFAJ’s work and expansion across the EMEA region, it’s exciting that it also gives members around the world the opportunity to engage with Syngenta through events like this.

“I’m particularly pleased that this first IFAJ-Syngenta event will take place in the UK. It’s a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate the vibrancy and strength inherent in the UK’s agritech and bioscience sectors and to share that story around the world.”

If this event proves a success, Syngenta hopes to offer IFAJ members further visits either to Jealott’s Hill or one of its many other R&D centres worldwide.

Interested in securing one of those places? Please contact Adrian Bell, IFAJ’s Treasurer and partnership manager, at Adrian.bell@agromavens.com, before Friday, 20th September.