BASF Plant Science, Genomine, Inc. and POSTECH sign licenseagreement in plant biotechnology
- Focus on maximizing yields in crops such as rice and corn
- Second plant biotechnology agreement entered by BASF in South Korea
Limburgerhof, Germany and Pohang, South Korea, December 17, 2009 – BASF Plant Science, Genomine, the South Korean venture company and POSTECH, the South Korean university, today entered a license agreement. Focus is on the discovery of genes that help maximize yields in staple food and feed crops such as rice and corn. This includes genes that increase yield under normal circumstances as well as under adverse environmental conditions such as drought.
“In today’s knowledge-based society, private-public collaborations such as this one will not only benefit the parties directly involved, but also benefit the country,” Professor Yang Do Choi, Director of the Korean Crop Functional Genomics Center, said. Over the past decade, South Korea has taken a leadership position in plant biotechnology research.
“Our company is geared towards finding genes that help farmers get the most out of their crops,” said Dr. Jürgen Logemann, Vice President Technology Management, BASF Plant Science. ”The work carried out by Genomine and POSTECH perfectly complements our research activities. As a leader in the discovery of genes and the development of traits, we strive to expand our position through continuous interaction with key universities and research institutes,” he added. BASF Plant Science entered its first South Korean cooperation in 2007 with the Crop Functional Genomics Center, a major agreement involving 40 institutes.
“This agreement will serve as a framework to create a win-win strategy maximizing synergism of the three parties involved. Also, this partnership will accelerate commercialization of the technologies developed by Genomine and POSTECH,” Dr. Kyung Mok Park, CEO of Genomine, Inc., said. “I look forward to continuing our good relationship for mutual benefits.”
“The agreement with Genomine and BASF Plant Science enables POSTECH to benefit from commercial dynamism, innovation and efficiency,” explained Dr. Hong-Gil Nam, Professor at POSTECH. “It will leverage POSTECH’s technologies of plant functional genomics and the expertise of BASF Plant Science into further development and commercialization.”
POSTECH contributes to the agreement with its competencies in early discovery work. Additional competencies in gene discovery will be available through Genomine. BASF Plant Science is responsible for the further analysis and development of the genes in commercial crops, including rice and corn. The company brings better crops to farmers though collaborations with leading companies in the seed industry.
Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.
POSTECH was founded on Dec. 13th, 1986, as Korea’s first research-orientated university. With its superior educational environment that surpasses that of developed countries, as well as its innovative university operation, POSTECH quickly became the No. 1 science and engineering school in Korea.
Today, POSTECH continues to nurture leaders of next-generation technologies by establishment of an educational environment that’s equivalent to some high-profile universities in the world that brings out the best of the select 300 hundred undergraduate students each year. Also, with its state-of-the-art and world-class research facilities and infrastructures, it continues its path to become the world’s most influential university in fundamental science, as well as Korea’s industrial development. Further information on POSTECH is available on the Internet at www.postech.ac.kr.
About Genomine, Inc.:
Genomine is one of the leading bio-venture companies in Korea. It originated from the department of Life Science at POSTECH. As the interaction between industry and academia is essential for long-term success in the field of biotechnology, Genomine plays a vitally important role in acting as the liaison between them. Most of the founders and researchers of Genomine are from POSTECH. Many of POSTECH’s professors have made contributions to Genomine as members of its advisory board. POSTECH’s state of the art technology and facilities provides a great advantage in the ongoing efforts of Genomine. The name Genomine, derived from genome and mine, reflects its passion to create value from genes. Genomine has leading edge technology in identifying useful plant genes by utilizing functional genomics and proteomics technology. The company has a lot of mutant lines representing the variable phenotypes through the technologies. It is able to easily mine useful genes and to apply a wide range of industries including the development of valuable transgenic plants and agrochemicals. Genomine is currently focused on discovering the novel plant genes related to yield increase, environmental stress and lethality. Further information on Genomine is available on the Internet at www.genomine.com.
About BASF Plant Science
BASF consolidated its plant biotechnology activities in BASF Plant Science in 1998. Today, about 700 employees are working to optimize crops for more efficient agriculture, renewable raw materials and healthier nutrition for humans and animals. Projects include yield increase in staple crops, higher content of Omega-3s in oil crops for preventing cardiovascular diseases, nutritionally-enhanced corn for animal feed and potatoes with optimized starch composition for industrial use. To find out more
About BASF Plant Science, please see our internet web site at www.basf.com/plantscience.
BASF Plant Science
Phone: +49 621-60-28752
Dong Hee Lee, PhD
Phone: +82 54-223-2467
Chang Sun Oh
Phone: +82 54-279-2412