Novozymes, Bayer extend BioAg business with new partners

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Biological solutions provider Novozymes has announced two new partnerships to establish a broader alliance for the commercialisation of microbial solutions to increase crop yields: Univar Solutions and UPL.

While Novozymes will continue its partnership with Bayer in the ‘stronghold of microbes for corn and for distribution to the main soy markets’, the announcement of the new partnerships ends The BioAg Alliance.

The alliance was established in February 2014 by Novozymes and Monsanto (now owned by Bayer) to develop and commercialise microbial solutions to increase crop yields and improve sustainability. The inclusion of new partners will enable wider crop and geographical coverage, according to Novozymes.

Under the existing partnership with Bayer, Novozymes will continue to commercialise the BioRise 2 technology for upstream corn application, as well as the development of next-generation upstream corn inoculant strains with a co-funded R&D model.

Bayer will act as Novozymes’ global distributor for downstream microbial products for soy and pulse crops, with the exception of the Canadian market.

The new setup is expected to enable Novozymes to capture more value from its investments in BioAg, and will maintain the long-term target of supplying technology to 250-500 million acres of crops.

“I’m very pleased with the future setup of our BioAg business and look forward to continuing the successful collaboration with Bayer as our core partner,” said Peder Holk Nielsen, president and CEO of Novozymes. “The BioAg Alliance has been good for Novozymes, particularly when it comes to developing and commercialising products to boost corn yields.

“However, the exclusive Alliance had limited flexibility and breadth. The new, more flexible setup allows Novozymes to bring biological solutions to market with multiple partners. These partners complement the focus areas we have with Bayer, such as broader crop and geographical coverage, and continues the journey towards the 250-500 million-acre target.”

The partnership with Univar Solutions in the Canadian market includes distribution rights of Novozymes’ main downstream bioyield products.

The commercial and innovation agreement with UPL concerns inoculants beyond soy and pulse crops, as well as the exploration of joint development opportunities in biocontrol.