The Scientific Know-How and Exchange Program (SKEP) II project between Syngenta and the International Rice Research (IRRI) held a workshop to discuss possible future activities as the partnership entered its third and final year. A highlight of the workshop was the steering committee meeting on possible new areas of R&D partnership as well as opportunities to consider SKEP III.  The parties also recommended some new paths for each of the projects under the SKEP umbrella.

During the review and planning workshop, held at the IRRI Headquarters on 7 – 8  May, project management emphasized the importance of producing deliverables within the target timelines, improving communication, and protecting intellectual properties. IRRI and project teams presented progress and key achievements in the last two years, and agreed on planned key priorities for the next six months.

The Syngenta and IRRI teams were led by Drs. Manuel Legrono and Matthew Morell, respectively.  Leading scientists from the Syngenta offices in India, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines came to dialogue with their project counterparts at IRRI.

The SKEP II project consists of five sub-projects co-managed by a scientist from IRRI and Syngenta. These are:

• Project 1. SNP marker validation  (Michael Thomson and Ai Li Yeo)
• Project 2. Crop health management (Adam Sparks and Ben Wu)
• Project 3. Outcrossing in hybrid rice (Fangming Xie and S. Sundar)
• Project 4. Phenotyping for lodging resistance (Michael Dingkuhn and Mila Lopez)
• Project 5. Pyramiding high-value genes to increase rice yield (Kshirod Jena and Kasul Sheshagiri)

The SKEP II project is a good example of a public-private partnership that generates valuable experience and information.  Both Syngenta and IRRI are committed to strengthen collaboration for the common purpose of sharing knowledge to develop innovative solutions for the benefit of the rice growers.