Dow AgroSciences, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company, announced that it has entered into a new research collaboration with the Victoria Department of Primary Industries (DPI) to develop novel plant genetics tools designed to increase crop performance for the benefit of farmers in Australia and around the world.

Under the agreement, Dow AgroSciences will work with DPI through its commercial arm, Agriculture Victoria Services Pty Ltd, to apply transformational technologies for developing elite crop varieties for growers in Australia and globally.

The collaboration builds upon the current research and development program, initiated in 2009, in plant genomics between DPI and Dow AgroSciences aimed at developing new crop varieties with improved productivity, agronomic and product quality traits.

"Dow AgroSciences is a global leader in agricultural biotechnology and its commitment to research and development in plant genomics makes this an ideal collaboration for our DPI scientists. The results will generate significant benefits to Australian growers while also providing an important role in supporting advances in global food security," said Professor German Spangenberg, executive director, Biosciences Research Division, Department of Primary Industries.

Spangenberg commented that Dow AgroSciences' decision to further its investment in Victoria confirmed the world-class standing of DPI's scientists and research infrastructure. The research program would be based at DPI's research facilities at Horsham, Austrailia and the new $230 million Centre for AgriBiosciences currently under construction at Bundoora, Austrailia.

"Over the past three years, we've been extremely impressed with the creative and collaborative solutions that have resulted from our research relationship with the Department of Primary Industries," said Daniel R. Kittle, Ph.D., global leader, R&D, Dow AgroSciences. "By expanding that collaboration, we're continuing to demonstrate our mutual commitment to developing novel solutions for some of the most important challenges agriculture will face in the future."

Financial details of this transaction were not disclosed.