BASF put a new R&D center at the Crop Protection division’s headquarters in Limburgerhof, Germany, into operation. By housing two promising and well-connected research areas – biological crop protection and seed solutions – the center will be a hub of expertise for solutions in chemistry and biology to farmers around the globe. As a result, BASF is boosting its potential to develop innovations beyond classical crop protection.

“Our investment in this expanded capacity is a step forward to unlocking the agricultural potential in seeds and crops in different and untapped ways,” said Philipp Rosendorfer, vice president R&D functional crop care for BASF’s Crop Protection division. The research on biological solutions, which consists of naturally occurring organisms or extracts thereof, provides great opportunities to complement BASF’s chemical crop protection. Moreover, the combination between chemistry and biology generates a new range of pioneering solutions for seed treatment. “With BASF’s unique skills in research and state-of-the art formulations, we are one of a few companies that can provide a seed treatment with a mixture of both biological and chemical compounds. This means farmers can have a well-protected and strengthened crop right from the beginning of its life,” concluded Rosendorfer.

Boost for global R&D network

The new R&D center will boost BASF’s global network of R&D sites as well as trial centers in all regions that are dedicated to developing seed solutions and biologicals-based crop protection, including Brazil, Argentina, France, UK, South Africa, China, Australia, U.S., and Canada. At the Global Press Conference of the Crop Protection division in September 2016, BASF will open the center for the first time to journalists.

Strong support for future business pipeline

In addition to its existing portfolio in seed solutions and biological crop protection, BASF has a range of projects in its pipeline, including new biological insecticides and fungicides for foliar and seed applications, seed-applied chemical actives and seed enhancements such as functional coatings. Capabilities housed in the new facility include an advanced biological strain library, laboratories and facilities for screening and product application tests, a joint lab to combine BASF’s biological fermentation and chemical formulation know-how, and facilities to develop solutions enhancing application properties and handling of treated seeds.