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Trade News  |  22 mai 2019
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Joint News Release

BASF collaborates with Rothamsted Research
on sustainable agriculture

  • Combining expertise to jointly address agricultural challenges
  • Focus on research in sustainable agriculture and soil health
  • Long-term collaboration to support future scientists

Limburgerhof, Germany, and Harpenden, UK, May 22, 2019 – BASF and Rothamsted Research, one of the world’s oldest and most acclaimed agricultural research centers, are working together in a long-term collaboration to shape modern sustainable agriculture. The goal is to jointly address current agricultural challenges by identifying areas of R&D where novel approaches to science can accelerate innovation. The first initiative, designed as a hands-on training program, is a Sustainability Challenge that enables early career scientists to discuss their ideas on the future of farming in a corporate environment. In addition, BASF and Rothamsted are launching PhD studentships focusing on soil management.

“We are encouraging the Rothamsted scientists to take a critical look at agricultural practices, address environmental, social and economic challenges through scientific research, and develop valuable practical skills for multidisciplinary projects,” said Julia Harnal, Head of Global Sustainability and Governmental Affairs at BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division. “This is how we will drive modern sustainable agriculture together.”


Sustainability Challenge

The Sustainability Challenge is framed as a competition to develop skills in collaborative research projects. Teams of Rothamsted researchers from all over the world are challenged to develop proposals on topics such as the future of farming, sustainable agriculture or innovation to mitigate the effects of climate change. The program includes coaching from BASF experts and a leading Design Thinking agency on how to co-design collaborations with partners. The first challenge took place this year. After successfully pitching their concepts, the winning teams visited the headquarters of BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division in Limburgerhof, Germany, earlier this year, to exchange ideas on sustainable farming with industry experts.

“We are delighted to partner with BASF. No single organization can solve today’s agricultural challenges alone, so this is a great chance for our young researchers to learn what makes a collaboration project with industry successful,” said Professor Achim Dobermann, Director and Chief Executive of Rothamsted Research.


PhD studentships on soil health

Healthy soil is essential for successful sustainable farming and plays a vital role in addressing climate change. To accelerate research in soil health, PhD scientists will work with experienced multidisciplinary teams from Rothamsted, BASF and universities to address critical scientific knowledge gaps in soil health.

BASF and Rothamsted Research have been collaborating for many years. To mark the Institute’s 175th anniversary in 2018, both organizations renewed their commitment to a long-term collaboration with further initiatives to come.

More information at


BASF Media Contact:   Rothamsted Media Contact:
Stephanie Reiss   David Stevens
Phone: +49 621 60 29843   Phone: +44 1582 938 525


About BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division

With a rapidly growing population, the world is increasingly dependent on our ability to develop and maintain sustainable agriculture and healthy environments. Working with farmers, agricultural professionals, pest management experts and others, it is our role to help make this possible. That’s why we invest in a strong R&D pipeline and broad portfolio, including seeds and traits, chemical and biological crop protection, soil management, plant health, pest control and digital farming. With expert teams in the lab, field, office and in production, we connect innovative thinking and down-to-earth action to create real world ideas that work – for farmers, society and the planet. In 2018, our division generated sales of €6.2 billion. For more information, please visit or any of our social media channels.


About Rothamsted Research

Rothamsted Research is the longest-running agricultural research institute in the world. We work from gene to field with a proud history of ground-breaking discoveries, from crop treatment to crop protection, from statistical interpretation to soils management. Our founders, in 1843, were the pioneers of modern agriculture, and we are known for our imaginative science and our collaborative influence on fresh thinking and farming practices. Through independent science and innovation, we make significant contributions to improving agri-food systems in the UK and internationally. In terms of the institute’s economic contribution, the cumulative impact of our work in the UK was calculated to exceed £3000 million a year in 2015. Our strength lies in our systems approach, which combines science and strategic research, interdisciplinary teams and partnerships. Rothamsted is also home to three unique resources. These National Capabilities are open to researchers from all over the world: The Long-Term Experiments, Rothamsted Insect Survey and the North Wyke Farm Platform.
For more information, visit



Stephanie Reiß
Media Relations
BASF and Rothamsted Research collaborate to shape modern sustainable agriculture and support future scientists. As part of a Sustainability Challenge young researchers from Rothamsted visited the headquarters of BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division in Limburgerhof, Germany.
Dernière mise à jour 22 mai 2019