18 I EUROPEAN SEED I EUROPEAN-SEED.COM remains fully committed to transparency and continues to look into new methods to improve access to regulatory data. There is also a concern among society over recent mergers between companies. While CropLife International does not com- ment on any potential mergers and acquisitions, nor speculate on the impact of these possible changes to the marketplace, it is important to note that all large mergers and acquisitions must obtain prior approval by anti-trust authorities in major markets around the world to preserve competition and protect consumers. It is also important that we emphasize the benefits of plant science to the public. CropLife International and its members are committed to serving the needs of farmers worldwide by devel- oping plant science innovations that increase crop productivity, improve farmer livelihoods, and help enable food and nutrition security in a time of unprecedented population growth, increas- ing pest, weed and disease pressures, and expected difficult growing conditions brought on by climate change. Companies engaged in the plant sciences see farmers as not only customers, but as partners, and are committed to developing solutions that provide agronomic benefits that support their businesses. It is important that the plant science industry be com- petitive and diverse as this ensures a diverse product choice for farmers. The industry is far more diverse than CropLife International’s membership — it includes countless small and medium-sized companies; public and private sector research institutions; and multi-national, regional, and local companies — as well as emerging and new companies and research insti- tutions that enter the industry. Syngenta: Industry efficiency and consolidation are needed to deal with the unpredictable impacts of climate change, low global commod- ity prices and increasing regulatory requirements. Innovation remains the key to success as well as integrating farmers’ needs into the R&D process as early as possible. The current environment has prompted all companies to review their strategies and approaches to ensuring efficiency and the ability to continue to invest in new technology. It is very costly to invest in the R&D required to ‘discover’ and bring new products to market, and therefore scale for innovation is extremely important, as is leveraging partnerships. At Syngenta, we have over 400 agreements with academic institutions, com- panies, individuals, charities and NGO’s to ensure we can find the answers to growers’ challenges. Syngenta is now taking a holistic approach even in the very early phase of research. Around eight years ago, Syngenta started to implement a new approach in product development and it resulted in the launch of ADEPIDYN, a broad-spectrum fungicide for multiple crops in 2016. This is an unprecedented pace of R&D. Starting with that product, molecules are assessed by our scientists for their spectrum of activity and potency but also against other criteria such as chemical stability, environ- mental behavior, safety, production costs and likelihood of meet- ing regulatory requirements. REDUCED CHALLENGES WITH PHEROMONE PRODUCT COMMERCIALIZATION Pheromones are the chemicals released by organisms to communicate with others of their species, typically released into the air and used for a variety of purposes including attraction of mates. Because pheromone crop protection products have a more environmentally benign nature than some other products, the Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S. (EPA) has adjusted its review of them. In an October 2017 Agronews article called ‘Navigating hurdles to bring pheromone pesticides to market,’ Johnny Johnson and Christian Kerr note that while mating-disruption products still have to be registered under the U.S. Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act passed in 1947, the EPA has reduced and removed several requirements. However, they explain that “just because a particular pesticide is considered a biopesticide for registration purposes does not necessarily guarantee an expedited registration process.” Kerr and Johnson note that manufacturers of biopesticides must: list starting materials, provide steps taken to ensure integrity and limit contamination of starting materials, verify identity and purity of the seed stock and report quality control methods and the techniques used to ensure product uniformity. They believe “the ease, relatively speaking, of registration of [pheromone] products should encourage their more widespread use in the near future. Products that kill nothing and still protect vital crops could become a vital part of our agricultural economy.” “To bring more regulatory certainty we can only continue to insist that science, not politics, is driving the decision-making process.” We as an industry need to work with governments and other bodies to help shape policy and ensure that regulatory requirements are science-based. Against this background, the opportunities offered by science have never been greater. The convergence of chemistry, biology and mathematics is enabling us to innovate faster, more precisely and with more predictable results. Increasingly, we can apply predictive science to innovate by design, using data-driven techniques to create better prod- ucts that meet growers’ needs. Monsanto: To meet the challenges of market demand, seed companies will have to offer a complete systems approach – seed treatments, herbicide and insect tolerances, chemistry solutions, even data-science options and packages – to set themselves apart from competitors in the marketplace. A timely approval process can ensure that we can bring these technologies to growers more quickly, so they can realize the full benefits on the farm. Education is also vital for helping farmers use new technologies successfully. Collaboration is another strategy for success and we expect to continue to see collaborations that make sense for growers.