Seed World

Wintersteiger Buys German Start-Up Kenomx

From left: Georg Pointecker (Product Management at Wintersteiger), Christopher Schiehauer, _x000D_

At the end of January, Wintersteiger AG, an international machinery and plant engineering group based in Ried, Upper Austria took over German start-up Kenomx Data Solutions GmbH. Kenomx previously worked in partnership with plant breeding enterprises to develop the Breed@KE software that was marketed in Germany. Wintersteiger is revolutionizing the breeding process by integrating field and laboratory data. This acquisition forms part of Wintersteiger’s digitization strategy.

Kenomx was founded in 2014 in Potsdam by biologist Dr. Svenja Diehl and graduate computer scientist Rico Basekow. Prior to this they both worked at the MPI for Molecular Genetics/MPI for Molecular Plant Physiology (Max Planck Institutes) and the German Resource Center for Genome Research for several years where, working with other scientists and plant breeders, they developed solutions for managing genotypic and phenotypic plant data.

They founded the Potsdam-based Kenomx Data Solutions GmbH with the aim of using research projects to further develop and sell data management software for commercial and scientific plant breeding.

Svenja Diehl, Managing Partner at Kenomx for software sales: “Modern technology means more and more data are being generated in the plant breeding sector. Consequently, there is a growing need for a suitable software solution to handle these ever-growing data sets. We believe the sale of software and our integration into Wintersteiger AG, who are market leaders in field research equipment, will give us the best chance of marketing our product effectively and further developing the software.”

The site in Potsdam is being extended as a Wintersteiger branch office.

Christopher Schiehauer, Head of the Seedmech business field at Wintersteiger, explains: “This addition to our product portfolio points the way forward, and will give us the opportunity to establish ourselves as a software provider. At the same time, it will bring us closer to our goal of being able to support our customers, optimize their breeding process and offer turnkey solutions.”

The software, which in the future will be sold internationally under the name “Easy Breed”, provides end-to-end support for the breeding process: Management of all breeding material, field trial planning and implementation, manual and automated integration of collected data, data analysis and data visualization. In this way, the entire breeding process will be backed up by valid, clearly organized data. Easy Breed will help breeders take decisions on the successful development of new crop varieties much more objectively and quickly.

“Agronomists and plant breeders today face the challenge of introducing new developments to make a critical contribution towards sustainable food and energy supplies for the world. Wintersteiger provides the technology needed to do this, and its products in this area cover the entire plant breeding and research cycle from the planting to the harvesting,” according to Schiehauer about the Seedmech business field at Wintersteiger.