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BASF Collaborates with Rothamsted Research on Sustainable Agriculture


BASF and Rothamsted Research are working together in a long-term collaboration to shape modern sustainable agriculture. The goal is to jointly address current agricultural challenges by identifying areas of R&D where novel approaches to science can accelerate innovation. The first initiative, designed as a hands-on training program, is a Sustainability Challenge that enables early career scientists to discuss their ideas on the future of farming in a corporate environment. In addition, BASF and Rothamsted are launching PhD studentships focusing on soil management.

“We are encouraging the Rothamsted scientists to take a critical look at agricultural practices, address environmental, social and economic challenges through scientific research, and develop valuable practical skills for multidisciplinary projects,” says Julia Harnal, head of Global Sustainability and Governmental Affairs at BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division. “This is how we will drive modern sustainable agriculture together.”

Sustainability Challenge

The Sustainability Challenge is framed as a competition to develop skills in collaborative research projects. Teams of Rothamsted researchers from all over the world are challenged to develop proposals on topics such as the future of farming, sustainable agriculture or innovation to mitigate the effects of climate change. The program includes coaching from BASF experts and a leading Design Thinking agency on how to co-design collaborations with partners. The first challenge took place this year. After successfully pitching their concepts, the winning teams visited the headquarters of BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division in Limburgerhof, Germany, earlier this year, to exchange ideas on sustainable farming with industry experts.

“We are delighted to partner with BASF. No single organization can solve today’s agricultural challenges alone, so this is a great chance for our young researchers to learn what makes a collaboration project with industry successful,” says Achim Dobermann, Director and Chief Executive of Rothamsted Research.

PhD studentships on soil health

Healthy soil is essential for successful sustainable farming and plays a vital role in addressing climate change. To accelerate research in soil health, PhD scientists will work with experienced multidisciplinary teams from Rothamsted, BASF and universities to address critical scientific knowledge gaps in soil health.

BASF and Rothamsted Research have been collaborating for many years. To mark the Institute’s 175th anniversary in 2018, both organizations renewed their commitment to a long-term collaboration with further initiatives to come.

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Source: BASF