Texas Tech University’s relationship with Bayer CropScience and its footprint in agricultural research and innovation continues to grow with the opening of the Bayer CropScience Seeds Innovation Center on Wednesday, Sept. 2. As part of the activities at the opening, Bayer made a $5,000 donation to the Ronald McDonald House.
The center, located at 3316 Ninth St. on the north side of Marsha Sharp Freeway, just south of the International Cultural Center, will host Bayer’s global cotton business operations as well as state-of-the-art laboratories and research facilities, including a 50,000-square-foot greenhouse.
“Our relationship with Bayer CropScience continues to expand and is an example of a collaborative effort that keeps forging forward,” Texas Tech President M. Duane Nellis said. “The leadership at Bayer CropScience, the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and the Office of the Vice President for Research are a model for positive and rewarding academic and industry relationships.”
The $16 million, 100,000-square-foot complex is designed to boost seed research and innovation not only for cotton, but also soybean and wheat research. In addition to the laboratory and research space, the facility will include 50,000 square feet of office space that can support approximately 100 employees.
“The on-campus location of the Bayer CropScience Seeds Innovation Center will further increase scientific collaboration with Texas Tech and expand potential involvement of Bayer scientists in the Texas Tech academic community,” said Michael Galyean, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. “We expect that the increased research and academic opportunities associated with a Bayer presence on campus will boost recruitment and retention of top-quality faculty members, post-doctoral scientists and graduate students while also attracting visiting scholars from around the globe.”
The opening of the Bayer CropScience Seeds Innovation Center is another significant milestone in the long-term collaboration between Texas Tech and Bayer CropScience. One of the nation’s leading agricultural research companies, Bayer CropScience is dedicated to improving yields, protecting crops from disease and pests and maintaining a healthy environment through innovative solutions.
The Bayer CropScience Seeds Innovation Center is dedicated to enhancing and ensuring the growth of the cotton industry through various products and solutions. Lubbock serves as the company’s global cottonseed headquarters. Among the Bayer facilities around Lubbock are a seed processing plant and seed warehouse as well as quality control and research and development laboratories.
“In Texas, cotton is king, and we’re proud to call West Texas home,” said Jim Blome, president and CEO of Bayer CropScience. “What started as a small cotton business in 1998 with three employees has grown into our global cotton headquarters. Today, we celebrate the continued success and expansion of the Bayer CropScience presence in Lubbock with the grand opening of our Seeds Innovation Center.”
The center will support research and innovation efforts regarding breeding, trait development and quality, health safety and environmental testing. Research efforts will focus on improving varieties of cotton, cotton variety traits, development of herbicide- and insect-tolerant traits and improved fiber and yield.
“As a proud Texas Tech Red Raider, this is an especially momentous day,” said Mike Gilbert, global head of breeding and trait development at Bayer CropScience. “I get to see the culmination of two of my greatest passions – this great university and a great company committed to science and improving lives.”
At capacity, the greenhouse can hold 7,500 full-size soybean plants or 30,000 mid-size cotton plants with precautions taken to minimize cross-contamination of plant pollen or processing errors. The greenhouse also will feature its own irrigation system.
“Our undergraduate students should benefit from increased opportunities to work in the new facility, along with the potential for student internships in collaborative research and applied field application programs,” Galyean said.