innovation tagged posts

How the UN, Monsanto and microbes can help improve global nutrition

On 1 April 2016, the United Nations General Assembly in New York, proclaimed a ‘UN Decade of Action on Nutrition’ to run from 2016 to 2025. This initiative by the UN is an approach which recognises the importance of tackling the fight against world hunger and malnutrition by working with the private sector.

It will be led by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO), in partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The fundamental role of the business community was already highlighted by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during the United Nations forum in September 2015...

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Synthetic biology: creating a better future for our global agricultural system

© Copyright 2010 CorbisCorporation

Synthetic biology (SynBio) at its core is a meeting of minds between engineering and biotechnology. Researchers working on SynBio aim to understand how life starts by studying DNA engineering; that is to say, how to write and program DNA in order to create novel organisms. This tool could be used in medicine to develop vaccines and make cancer cells self-destruct said George Church, Professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, US,  in 2010.

While traditional genetic engineering is a matter of cutting and pasting gene-parts from one organism to another, synthetic biology engineering is able to write an entire genetic code. SynBio researchers use online databases of genetic codes to put together genes and gene-parts via computer modelling...

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We’ve just been named as one of the World’s Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE Magazine

Great news! We’ve just been named as one of the World’s Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE Magazine, and as the Number 1 company in our industry sector for 2016.

No doubt, this is proof of the commitment, passion, and hard work of our employees who day-in day-out do their utmost to help develop sustainable ways to feed our growing planet. In the words of Hugh Grant, our Chairman and CEO;

“This recognition is a direct reflection of the outstanding talent at Monsanto as well as our employees’ passion for developing agricultural solutions to help our farmer customers have better harvests.”

For us, this is the third year in a row that we’ve received this award and we’re incredibly excited about it. And proud as punch...

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The CEO Magazine features Leticia Gonçalves (EN/FR)

Leticia GoncalvesThe February issue of The CEO Magazine features an interview with Leticia Gonçalves, CEO of Monsanto’s operations in Europe and the Mideast, about the company’s challenges in Europe, its ongoing transformation into an agricultural technology company and her personal vision for the future.

A chemical engineer by training, Leticia started working for Monsanto in her native Brazil, then moved on to various leadership roles in the United States before moving to Europe. The interview covers the situation in Ukraine, a major market for Monsanto despite the ongoing political instability; the company’s culture of collaboration and focusing on the big picture need for transformational innovation in agriculture; and the challenge of helping nourish the world’s growing population.

To read the full ...

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Business Europe, European Roundtable of Industrialists &  European Risk Forum want to talk to you about innovation

At Monsanto, we understand the need to innovate. Innovation is one of those “buzzwords” that are often peppered into conversations and quickly forgotten. But it is the stuff of economic growth and healthy competition that drives investors and governments, as well as the choices of individual consumers, everywhere. For real innovation to take place, there needs to be more than just a word to describe what we should do, there needs to be defined action, particularly in a European context.

This week, Business Europe, The European Round Table and The European Risk Forum released a joint statement on innovation in Europe, and how we need to work together as EU institutions and businesses in order to ensure that we have a Europe that is dynamic and growing rather than stagnant, or, as some comme...

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Food for thought from this year’s Forum of the Future of Agriculture

On Tuesday, we attended the 9th Annual Forum for the Future of Agriculture (FFA) in Brussels. The FFA addresses key issues relating to food and environment security agendas throughout Europe and the world. This year, key speakers included European Union Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan, Cass Sunstein, Behavioral Economics and Public Policy professor at Harvard, and UN Special Advisor on post-2015 Development Planning, the formidable Amina Mohammed.  Whilst the day-long conference raised a number of challenging issues, for us, three issues really stood out.

We are the first generation able to end hunger, the last to be able to avoid the worst impacts of man-made climate change

MVI_4125.MOV.Still003It’s a pretty startling thought. We have at once a foot on the mountain top, and a foot on the precipice...

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Patent ruling boosts innovative plant breeding

The Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) of the European Patent Office, in effect the final decision making body on patents in Europe, has determined that plants or plant products produced by conventional breeding are not excluded from patentability under Article 53(b) EPC.

Two cases (the “broccoli” case – EP 1069819 and the “tomato” case – EP 1211926) were referred to the EBA to obtain clarification on whether plants or plant products produced by an excluded process are also excluded from patentability.

The broccoli patent belongs to a UK company, PBL, whilst the tomato patent is assigned to the State of Israel. Neither patent belongs to Monsanto, although Monsanto does license the broccoli patent from PBL.

IMG_1918The clarification of the scope of the protection for plants and plant produc...

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On World Water Day, thinking about ways to conserve and protect it

Today is International World Water Day.   Initiated by the United Nations in 1993, it was established as a means of focusing the world’s attention- if for only one day- on the global importance of fresh water.  It’s been held every year since, every 22nd March. This year, the theme is Water and Sustainable Development – two issues that we at Monsanto are very passionate about.

A few facts about water:

-          According to the UN, today, 748 million people lack access to safe drinking water and 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation.

-          Between the years 2000 and 2050, the UN estimates that global demand for water for industrial production will have grown by 400%.

-          To produce a calorie of food requires a litre of water

World Water Day Collage 2015At...

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Monsanto comments on Zembla program on patents on plants (EN/NL)

StudioTonight, Dutch public television program Zembla broadcast a report titled “The Monsanto Method” that attacked the use of patents in the plant kingdom. Although the program mentioned patents by several other companies, including Dutch companies, the title and journalists chose to focus on Monsanto.

Monsanto was pleased that Zembla gave us an opportunity to respond to their questions. Here’s the gist of what we told them about our patenting of some plants.

The patent system has developed over many years to motivate inventors to invest in new technology. It balances the interests of those inventors with the interests of society at large, which benefits from innovation, the knowledge it creates and the ability to build on that knowledge when the patent expires.

Patents are a “deal” between...

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Dawn of a new era for GM crop cultivation in Europe? We wish it were so (EN/FR)

On March 2, the European media once again will be full of highly contradictory spins on the expected decision by European Union governments to let each country in the Union decide for itself whether to allow or ban the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops within its national territory.

Based on previous experience, some non-governmental organisations will paint this as a “victory” for Monsanto and other companies that sell GM seeds in Europe and other parts of the world. Some will even say that we will begin selling GM seeds in EU countries where they haven’t previously been planted as soon as next year.

This is rubbish.

Monsanto’s seed business in Europe is—and has been for years—more than 99% non-GM maize, oilseed rape and vegetable seeds, and we do not expect that to cha...

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