Publication date: 15/11/2018
EuroChem Group AG ("EuroChem" or the "Group"), a leading global fertilizer producer, and Belgium-based biotechnology company Aphea.Bio announce the signing of a research and development agreement.
The agreement will see the two companies collaborate on the development of next-generation fertilizer technologies designed to significantly boost the take-up of key nutrients by plants. The research will utilize data and samples from scientific field trials at 10 different locations all over Europe.
EuroChem, which with the recent launch of potash mining became one of just three companies in the world to produce fertilizers in all three primary nutrient categories, is developing enhanced efficiency and slow-release fertilizers that are optimized for different soil conditions. These help improve yields and enable farmers to grow more crops from the same amount of land, vital as the world’s population continues to grow. The increased nutrient uptake also minimizes losses to the environment.
"This agreement will further strengthen EuroChem’s commitment to investing in innovation,” said Dr Thomas Mannheim, head of Global Research & Development for Premium Products at the Group. “We are committed to helping farmers optimize resource use and enabling them to enhance their yields and economic benefit.”
“We are delighted to have signed EuroChem as our first commercial partner,” said Dr Isabel Vercauteren, Aphea.Bio’s Chief Executive Officer. “EuroChem has deep expertise in the mineral fertilizer sector and we look forward to a long and fruitful collaboration together.”
Commercial terms of the agreement between the two companies have not been disclosed.
Aphea.Bio, a spin-off of the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), Ghent University and KU Leuven, specializes in researching microorganisms that closely interact with plants and their effect on agricultural crops. The company successfully raised 9 million euros of funding in 2017 following a successful Series A financing round and an R&D grant approved by Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO).
About EuroChem Group AG
EuroChem is a leading global producer of nitrogen, phosphate and potash fertilizers. The Group is vertically integrated with activities spanning mining to fertilizer production, logistics, and distribution. EuroChem began test production at its Usolskiy potash mine in early 2018, and continues to develop a second greenfield site at VolgaKaliy in Russia. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, the Group operates production facilities in Europe,
Asia and the CIS, employing more than 26,000 people.