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Checkbiotech: Rise in oil price helps biotech
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: October 04, 2005 09:32AM

The current worldwide discussion about depletion and price increase of
fossil fuels might enhance the acceptance towards plant
biotechnologyOctober 2005 translated by Shelley Jambresic,

?Particularly the heavy price increase of crude oil heats up the
dispute about renewable primary products and biofuels,? said Friedrich
Berschauer - the chairman of the Bayer Crop Science, a subgroup of
Bayer, which is concentrating on pest management - at a presentation of
the Association of the Economy Journalism (Wirtschaftspublizistische
Vereinigung) in Mannheim. The adoption of green biotechnology could
clearly raise the efficiency of biofuels, which would decrease the need
for subsidies and more acreage.

Berschauer sees an urgent call for political action in Germany and
Europe. "We will not get around the subject of renewable primary
products, and a competence in plant biotechnology is a crucial
competitive factor," he said.

With a turnover of about 300 million Euro, the yet very small segment
BioScience represents for the whole crop protection management of Bayer
a rapidly growing business, with a yearly investment of 25 percent of
sales being put towards research and development. However, so far the
know-how can only be marked outside Europe, with a main focus on

With a 20 percent contingent of a total of 30 billion Euro in sales of
crop protection products, Bayer CropScience is struggling with the Swiss
Syngenta for the leading position on the world market. The manifested
ambition of the company is a further expansion of its position as an
innovative leader. According to Berschauer, this includes the
streamlining of the product portfolio of older products with lower gross
margins, and a continuous adoption of new substances with higher
contribution margins.

Since 2000, Bayer has launched 16 new agents on its own. By 2011, the
rollout of ten new agents - currently in the last testing phase - is
planed. The company is confident that the new products have the
potential of a top turnover of 2 billion Euro. Berschauer estimated the
costs for ten years of research and development of a new crop protection
spray to be about 200 million Euro.

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