Monsanto and Novozymes Announce BioAg Alliance

(NAFB)--Monsanto and Novozymes are teaming up to transform research and commercialization of sustainable microbial products that will provide a new platform of solutions for growers around the world. They’ve announced a long-term strategic alliance - the BioAg Alliance - which will allow the companies to leverage employees, technologies and commercial assets in their agricultural biological portfolios.  The alliance will bring Novozymes’ commercial BioAg operations and capabilities within microbial discovery, development and production together with Monsanto’s microbial discovery, advanced biology, field testing and commercial capabilities. This will result in a comprehensive research, development and commercial collaboration to help farmers globally meet the challenge of producing more with less in a sustainable way.

Novozymes CEO Peder Holk Nielsen says this game-changing alliance has the potential to transform global agriculture. He says the combined capabilities of these two companies create an innovation powerhouse with a unique opportunity and approach to unleash the transformational opportunity in naturally derived microbial solutions in agriculture. Monsanto Chief Technology Officer Dr. Robb Fraley says this collaboration will take Monsanto’s biological work from a technology to a full-fledged platform that represents the next layer of opportunity for growers to drive yield and productivity while helping the preservation of the Earth’s finite natural resources.

This agreement is subject to the approval of the relevant national antitrust authorities to the extent required. The alliance is expected to close in early 2014.

According to a press release - under the collaboration:

* Monsanto and Novozymes will maintain independent and complementary internal and external discovery research programs to identify microbial targets with the potential to help farmers.

* Novozymes will be responsible for production and supply of the microbial solutions to Monsanto, building on its expertise within fermentation. Monsanto will serve as the lead for field testing, registration and commercialization of all alliance products.

* The companies will co-manage the alliance and co-fund research and development efforts.

* Monsanto will pay Novozymes an aggregate upfront payment of 300-million dollars net in recognition of Novozymes’ ongoing business and microbial capabilities, and for Novozymes to supply alliance products.

* Marketing responsibility for Novozymes’ current product portfolio in agricultural biologicals will be transferred to Monsanto along with much of the Novozymes commercial organization currently responsible for that work. The two companies will work to ensure that existing customer relationships and know-how are maintained and further built on for short- and long-term success.

* Both companies will benefit from profits on commercialized products resulting from this alliance and those products brought into the alliance by the parties. Through the alliance, the companies will also test and sell commercial microbial products purchased from other suppliers to bring additional value to farmers.