Academia and Industry, Fruitful Knowledge Exchange
Climatic change influences our environment and impacts directly upon our food supply. Pests and plant pathogens are well equipped to adapt to changes in their environment, including their hosts. Warmer temperatures mean that these hazardous organisms are able to cross geographical borders and pose new threats to plant health. In addition, growing resistance problems towards agrochemicals are resulting in serious crop damage and the loss of important compounds to the farmer. Therefore, modern agriculture is facing an ever increasing challenge to maintain and increase food production without harming consumers or the environment.
Research and innovative ideas for a sustainable agriculture are essential to address these difficult problems. One of the major drivers for innovation is the collaboration between industry with external academic partners. Through such cooperative programs, in-house expertise is combined with know-how from external partners and brings new facets to “old” discussions and helps people think in new directions. Networking and open scientific discussion of new, sometimes controversial ideas facilitates thinking across borders.
PhD students involved in the UK BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council) industrial case programs contribute to the solution of a range of different scientific problems. These industrial case programs are sponsored by the BBSRC. The Council endorses the direct exchange between academic and industrial research.
Regional Alliance Management at Bayer Crop Science
Face-to-face meetings between the students and industrial researchers provide an opportunity to experience the needs of the industrial scientist and benefits mutual understanding between the two communities.
Cooperation and partnerships between academia and industry are an ideal platform by which to combine the different perceptions and needs, and to drive innovation in research and development. Fresh ideas from talented PhD students combined with the experience and leverage of a company like Bayer can be a powerful combination!