EUROPEAN-SEED.COM I EUROPEAN SEED I 17 diseases. We must help them use the tools they have in sustain- able manner and work on finding new modes of action. Monsanto (Brian Carroll External Communications Manager, Europe): One challenge is to produce multiple herbicide tolerances. Growers have expressed a preference for this. Dow/DuPont (Media Relations Lead Dan Turner): First and foremost, the challenge is to find novel technologies that meet the needs of growers, regulators, the food chain and ultimately the consumer. That relates to another challenge – having the proper foresight to envision and understand those future needs. Another challenge relating to the EU specifically is the lack of predictability of the regulatory framework and the focus on hazards rather than risks. This makes it harder to make decisions very early in the product development process about which potential leads to advance first. Currently it takes around 10 years from discovery of a crop protection product to commercialization in North America, and in Europe it takes even longer. Syngenta (Camilla Corsi, head of crop protection research): Increasing regulatory requirements lengthen timelines and introduce uncertainty. HOW WILL THESE CHALLENGES BE OVERCOME? Dow/DuPont: The lack of predictability of the regulatory framework in the EU can be solved through forming an organization that is committed to accelerate the pace of innovation to create solutions which will deliver abundant, high-quality food now and for the future. This will also require large investments from companies. Companies need to be patient, have a collaborative spirit and have a good pragmatic process to assess future industry needs and opportunities. Similarly important is for companies to be fully aware that not all projects succeed for various regula- tory reasons, so the innovation company must be able to support large financial loss if a project is cancelled mid-way through the journey. To find novel technologies that meet the needs of the entire system requires companies to have a unique capability for intro- spection. Having the foresight to envision future needs is a sig- nificant challenge – and risky if that foresight is not accurate. Finding new modes of action is very challenging and requires great science and great scientists to discover those products that will provide novel efficacy while meeting evolving regulatory demands – but it remains the Holy Grail. Bayer: To identify a new mode of action for the control of pests and diseases, but especially to combat weed infestations, we must innovate, powered by our people and their diverse skillsets. Our employees in R&D have a very broad variety of scientific, CROP PROTECTION PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT: AN OVERVIEW CropLife International states that the commercialization of every crop protection product currently costs $286 million and takes 11 years of research and development to ensure it meets the highest safety and efficacy standards. Steps in development of a crop protection product, courtesy BASF: •  Initial testing - in the earliest stage, test systems need to be highly automated and miniaturized to make it possible to test as many or more than 100,000 molecules each year. For example, leaf fragments replace whole plants and insect eggs and larvae are used as model organisms for insects. •  Refinement of new substances – involves synthesis and testing to improve the efficacy of the new chemical class. •  Development of a model to support optimization – includes investigation of the mode of action and the minimization of toxicology and ecotoxicology potential • Testing on plants in greenhouses • Worldwide field trials •  Structural optimization with respect to biological efficacy, environmental impact and cost of manufacturing • Patent protection • Further studies on product safety • Application for registration technical and managerial backgrounds and we support them in building on their talents, but also in exchanging and acquiring new knowledge. We follow a broad variety of approaches to find molecules of a new mode of action. We work on that ourselves and spend billions a year, but we have also set up partnerships with external parties who sup- port us by investing own resources into our R&D activities (e.g., GRDC in weed control research, CRDF for the search for solu- tions against Citrus Greening). CropLife International: To bring more regulatory certainty we can only continue to insist that science, not politics, is driving the decision-making process. Most members of the public understand that farmers need crop protection products to prevent pests from destroying their crop. But they are suspicious of big business – a sentiment that is cer- tainly not exclusive to the plant science industry. The answer is to be open and transparent with the public. Currently the industry ensures detailed studies and full data are submitted to regulatory bodies for all crop protection products. All toxicolog- ically-relevant data is also available to the public. Our industry