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EMBRAPA and PBL forge technology development and commercialisation partnership

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21 May 2009

The Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, Embrapa, and PBL, the UK technology management company have signed a cooperation agreement under which they will work together to develop new technologies for Brazilian agricultural markets and to promote and market new innovations emerging from Embrapa’s large research network.

The Agreement gives Embrapa the right to access a group of patented technologies from PBL’s portfolio, which Embrapa will then develop to create new commercial products for Brazilian agriculture. The manager of the Planning and Business Management department of the Embrapa Technology Transfer, Dr. Amauri Buso, cites plant genes resistant to drought, disease or able to increase crop yield as examples of such technologies, as well as natural products for control of crop pests of huge national importance in Brazil, such as pests of soybean and cotton.

PBL will also add selected Embrapa innovations to its portfolio and market these to the global industrial sectors, on behalf of Embrapa.  PBL has a long track record of success in protecting and licensing innovations on behalf of public research organizations worldwide. PBL’s interests cover AgBiotech, Animal Health, Food, Nutrition, Microbiology, Biotechnology and related Life Science industries.

“This bilateral agreement will increase the chances of commercialization and protection of our technologies in the global market” Dr Buso says. Besides that, according to Dr Buso this partnership will help identifying and evaluating better commercialization opportunities and defining more promising strategies for Embrapa products.

Dr Jan Chojecki, PBL’s Managing Director says “Embrapa has a very impressive applied research capability covering most aspects of agricultural science, and so is an excellent partner to take forward fundamental, often fairly untested, innovations emerging from our source partners in UK and elsewhere around the world.  Moreover, Brazil has agricultural conditions ranging from temperate to tropical, and provides direct access to a vibrant agribusiness economy in which to test new products and product concepts.”

Steve Visscher, BBSRC Deputy Chief Executive, said: "This agreement between Embrapa and PBL, which is part-owned by BBSRC, is excellent news. It will give scientists working with PBL superb access to unrivalled expertise and opportunities to generate impact from their research in the Brazilian marketplace. Outputs from Embrapa will likewise receive a boost from PBL's expertise in the markets where they have specialist knowledge."

The partnership builds on the highly successful government initiative UK-Brazil Partnership in Science and Innovation, facilitated by the Science Team at the British Consulate in Sao Paulo. In the recent joint-declaration by the Brazilian President Lula and PM Gordon Brown, both governments demonstrated their willingness in promoting collaboration on innovation: “(both) emphasise the importance of continuing to build scientific collaboration to find ways to address global challenges and the need to support UK and Brazilian companies in their efforts to commercialise the results of their innovative research”.

ENDS

Notes to editors

About Embrapa

Embrapa’s mission is to provide feasible solutions for the sustainable development of Brazilian agribusiness through knowledge and technology generation and transfer. With over 8,000 employees in around 40 Research Centres, Embrapa coordinates Brazil’s National Agricultural Research System, which includes most public and private entities involved in agricultural research in the country.  www.embrapra.br

About PBL

PBL (Plant Bioscience Limited) is an IP management and technology development company, investing in emerging technology across the life sciences. PBL was formed in 1994, by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation and the John Innes Centre who both wanted the results of their public- and charity- funded research to be professionally managed through proactive commercialization for ultimate public benefit.  The Company is now jointly and equally owned by The John Innes Centre and The Sainsbury Laboratory and – since 2004 - BBSRC  (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council).  PBL brings together innovative technologies from public research sources worldwide, invests in building intellectual property protection and technology development, commercialised through licensing and new venture formation. www.pbltechnology.com

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