Dow AgroSciences, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company, and the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) of the State of Victoria, announced that the organizations have agreed to expand current collaborations by entering into a new research project to develop new varieties of canola with enhanced performance designed to benefit farmers in Australia and around the world. 

Under the agreement, Dow AgroSciences will work with the DPI through its commercial arm — Agriculture Victoria Services Pty Ltd.— to apply its EXZACTPrecision Technology platform to improve the performance of canola varieties. This represents the sixth research and development project in the collaboration agreement between Dow AgroSciences and DPI since the inception of the relationship between the two organizations in 2009. This new research project will be based at DPI’s research facilities at Horsham and at the new AgriBio, Centre for AgriBioscience that officially opened today at Bundoora.

“Dow AgroSciences is very excited to expand our collaboration with the Department of Primary Industries as this new project represents a significant step toward the development of commercial products that will enable both organizations to create new solutions for improving agricultural productivity,” said Antonio Galindez, President and CEO of Dow AgroSciences. “We have been extremely impressed with the creative and collaborative research relationship that we have developed with the department over the past few years. By expanding that collaboration to focus on commercial product development using EXZACT, we are continuing to demonstrate our mutual commitment to the creation of novel solutions for the critical challenges agriculture will face in the future.” 

The new project builds upon the current research and development collaboration between DPI and Dow AgroSciences that has resulted in the design and development of a platform for precision genome editing technologies using EXZACT, which Dow AgroSciences has developed under an exclusive license and collaboration agreement in plants with Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. The EXZACT Precision Technology platform enables the creation of new varieties of canola and oilseed rape. An additional application of the EXZACTplatform is the capability to develop novel gene combinations in commercial varieties that will rapidly allow the production of crops with improved performance. 

Victorian Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh said the Victoria Government saw great benefit and potential in collaborating with leading research organizations like Dow AgroSciences.

“DPI’s partnership with Dow AgroSciences has already generated more than 40 jobs in agricultural biosciences here at AgriBio and at Horsham, in regional Victoria. The work these researchers do will deliver even greater benefits to Victoria in the coming years. The Victorian Government has placed a very strong focus on targeted research and development within DPI, to help Victoria’s food and fiber producers meet world demand for food. We have a goal to double Victoria’s food and fiber production by 2030 but we cannot help growers step up production unless we co-invest with industry in research, development and extension in our areas of greatest opportunity, and these include grains and oilseeds,” Walsh said.

Financial details of this transaction were not disclosed.