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Syngenta announces collaborations on agricultural innovation

Collaborations with IBM Research and US biotech Maxygen to enhance agricultural solutions using advanced technologies.

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Syngenta Group, a leading global agriculture technology company, has announced groundbreaking collaborations following the 2023 launch of its innovation accelerator platform, Shoots by Syngenta. These collaborations, designed to bridge expertise across various industries, aim to rapidly develop innovative solutions to agricultural challenges.

In a notable partnership with IBM Research, Syngenta is optimizing chemical compound synthesis using IBM-RXN, a software employing language models for new molecule synthesis. This collaboration integrates Syngenta’s agricultural research and data with IBM’s expertise in chemical reactivity modeling and Natural Language Processing (NLP). The synergy allows for scalable and accurate predictions, expediting the investigation of compounds with desirable commercial properties. This digitalization and predictive modeling are enhancing the efficiency and sustainability of synthetic processes.

Syngenta's collaboration with US biotech company Maxygen, known for its directed evolution of proteins, focuses on optimizing molecular enabling technologies. This partnership has already led to significant scientific progress, including the development of protein variants with improved attributes. The consistent scientific engagement and robust decision-making processes have been key to the success of this collaboration.

Shoots by Syngenta invites scientists and innovators to respond to specific challenges posted on its website, aiming to foster collaborative partnerships across academia, research institutes, startups, and cross-industry sectors. The platform currently lists six challenges, including the development of new chemical building blocks from biomass waste streams and advanced diagnostic tools for crop growth assessment.

Camilla Corsi, Syngenta’s Global Head of Crop Protection Research, emphasized the company's commitment to collaboration as a key to unlocking new scientific possibilities in agriculture. These strategic partnerships and the Shoots platform are poised to generate innovative solutions, ultimately benefiting farmers and the broader agricultural sector.

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