Source: Bayer CropScience news release

Bayer CropScience AG intends to consolidate its European research activities in the field of plant biotechnology at its Innovation Center in Ghent, Belgium and further extend its activities in the main research fields of stress tolerance and increasing yields.

The BioScience (Seed & Traits) division's share of Bayer CropScience's total research and development expenditure is planned to increase from 20 percent at present to 25 percent in 2012. In the course of consolidating the main research fields at BioScience, Bayer CropScience has decided to no longer pursue its research into nutrition specialty ingredients at its site in Potsdam, Germany in future.

Bayer CropScience intends to realign its plant biotechnology research and development activities to more clearly identify new agronomic properties and qualitative plant traits, in order to better address major trends in global agriculture such as increasing demand for food, feed, fibers and renewable raw materials. The fields of stress tolerance and increased yields are crucial elements for the company's future market success. Bayer CropScience also wants to further develop its quality plant trait research activities, thus building on its successful business platform in cotton, canola, rice and vegetable seeds. The research program in these four key crops covers key quality traits such as the development of new canola profiles, improved tomato processing characteristics and improved fiber quality on the basis of new cotton varieties.

In the course of realigning its plant biotechnology research activities, Bayer CropScience has decided to no longer pursue its activities in nutrition specialty ingredients, which is one of the main assignments of the research institute in Potsdam. The company will make every effort to offer all employees at the Potsdam site new assignments at the Innovation Center in Ghent and at Bayer CropScience's other research sites.

The business with seeds and crops that have been genetically modified to optimize their properties is of growing importance for the company. With the aid of plant biotechnology and modern breeding methods the company is able to introduce improvements into crop plants which have the potential to increase the quantity and quality of foodstuffs, feeds and fibers for the benefit of farmers, consumers, industry and the environment. Bayer CropScience plans to invest some EUR 750 million in the development of new solutions in its Seeds & Traits business from 2008 to 2012. In addition to the planned consolidation of the European biotech research activities in Ghent, the company also intends to further extend its research and development capacities in North America, the world's most important market for commercial use of plant biotechnology.