Seed News


Syngenta Holds Digital Innovation Lab Grand Opening at University of Illinois Research Park

Date Posted: May 17, 2017


Joe Byrum, senior R&D and strategic marketing executive in life sciences at Syngenta (center), discusses the role of digital information in agriculture during a panel discussion Tuesday as part of the company’s Digital Innovation Lab grand opening at the University of Illinois Research Park in Champaign, IL. Among the other panelists were Aaron Deardorff, head of digital solutions at Syngenta (left), and Bill Danker, domain head biology and breeding at Syngenta (right).

Champaign, IL (May 16, 2017) — Syngenta held a grand opening Tuesday for its Digital Innovation Lab at the University of Illinois Research Park in Champaign, IL.

The lab is intended to help the company address challenges with an outside-of-the-box approach as it works with University of Illinois students and faculty, says Bill Danker, domain head of seeds research and breeding at Syngenta.

“We need to bring new solutions to the table,” says Danker. “I want this to be a lab everybody uses.”

Danker says questions from throughout the company, including about seeds and plant breeding, can be brought to the lab in attempt to find solutions using a data-focused approach.

By 2050, Danker says the global population will be 9 million people, so Syngenta is striving to help farmers grow enough food to feed those people. More crops will need to be produced on the same amount of land, he says.

Syngenta appointed Brandon Dohman as site director. Dohman will lead a team of staff members and students working at the lab, which is equipped with computers, television screens, and walls to write ideas on.

Syngenta is one of over 100 companies at the Research Park, where about 1,700 people are employed. The Research Park is intended to provide an opportunity for students in computer science, biology, and physical sciences to contribute to the future of agriculture.

The lab is the first of three Syngenta is planning to open around the world as part of its global digital innovation lab network.

Written by Chris Lusvardi of Seed Today.

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