FAPESP joins international consortium set up to accelerate crop breeding
February 07, 2018
Agência FAPESP – FAPESP participated in the launch of the Crops for the Future Collaborative, a consortium convened by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), a nonprofit set up to accelerate global crop breeding efforts to meet world food demand 20-50 years in the future. The agreement between FAPESP and FFAR was signed on January 23, 2018.
Launched in 2017, the consortium brings together the knowledge and resources of leading companies and research organizations to build a better understanding of the biochemical, physiological and molecular mechanisms that characterize different crops, and to develop models for forecasting and adapting to climate change. Besides FAPESP and FFAR, the consortium comprises Bayer, Biogemma, KWS, Precision PlantSciences, Rijk Zwaan, and CIMMYT.
The knowledge generated by the Collaborative will ultimately be available through scientific publications and information platforms, benefiting crop breeding efforts in the public and private sectors via an innovative initiative in the area.
“At FAPESP we’re happy to be part of the Crops of the Future Collaborative and to foster research in agricultural topics of great relevance for Brazil and the world. We’re working together with outstanding partners such as FFAR and other agencies, and expect to advance the pace of discovery,” said FAPESP Scientific Director Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz.
In January 2018, FFAR appointed Jeff Rosichan director of the Crops for the Future Collaborative. Rosichan earned a PhD in genetics and cell biology from Washington State University and has 30 years of agriculture industry experience as a senior research and development executive. At Dow AgroScience he was responsible for building and managing external research collaborations with companies based in the US and elsewhere, as well as universities, focusing on a range of topics such as plant breeding and genomics. He previously served as Global Head of Technology Scouting for Novartis Agribusiness and as Research Leader for all oilseeds projects at Renessen LLC, a joint venture between Monsanto and Cargill.
“I’m excited to join the team at the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research and honored to work with the Crops of the Future executive committee to develop and deliver novel, science-based solutions to help solve current and future food challenges,” Rosichan told FFAR’s Communication Department.
Joining the consortium led by FFAR is one more initiative by FAPESP to build support for genetic improvement and agricultural biotechnology. In December FAPESP announced the creation of the Center for Research in Genomics Applied to Climate Change, in partnership with the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA).
Hosted at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in São Paulo State, Brazil, the Center’s mission is to create biotechnological assets that increase plant resistance to drought and heat, and to transfer technology to the productive sector. Using genomics and genetics strategies, with such tools as genetic engineering, genome editing, and microbiome research, the Center will create and manage genetically edited transgenic plant pipelines, among other activities.
Read more about the Center at: agencia.fapesp.br/26902.
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