ZURICH and BASEL, SWITZERLAND - Syngenta and ETH Zurich announced today that they have entered into a partnership to launch a new professorship in the field of Sustainable Agroecosystems.

Syngenta will donate CHF 10 million to ETH Zurich Foundation in order to finance a new professorship and associated research staff for the next ten years. This represents the first milestone in ETH's strategic World Food System initiative, which aims to contribute to food security through new research initiatives.

ETH Zurich will seek a research leader who focuses on scientific approaches to maximizing agricultural output while minimizing inputs, economic losses and ecological damage. The research activities will contribute to public dialogue and provide advanced training for future leaders in the area of world food systems. A World Food System Advisory Board will be set up to further advance the initiative through the exchange of ideas and the creation of synergies. The partnership will also create a platform to leverage additional future joint projects oriented around food security and sustainable agriculture.

"Syngenta is dedicated to providing food security for a growing world population. This professorship provides a new research platform looking at a holistic view on food security and sustainable agriculture and will contribute to shaping global policy," said Mike Mack, Syngenta CEO. "We look forward to partnering with ETH Zurich, a globally recognized university complementing our own commitment to sustainable food systems."

"Forty years from now there will be 9 billion people in the world who need to be fed. To meet this immense challenge there is an urgent need for more research projects and a new generation of scientists. Thanks to the partnership between Syngenta and ETH Zurich we are able to strengthen our research endeavors towards a sustainable world food system," said Professor Ralph Eichler, President ETH Zurich.

Syngenta scientists and several ETH professors are already working in the field of sustainable food production and processing, while addressing the environmental, economic, social and political aspects of resource management. Already in 2006 Syngenta and the ETH Zurich Foundation created a scholarship foundation for PhD students conducting research projects in the area of Plant Science.

The World Food System initiative of ETH Zurich aims to adopt an international pioneering role and produce significant results both locally and globally. The vision of this initiative is to establish several new professorships and set up a new Center of Competence for the World Food System.

SOURCE: Syngenta