Laboratory Tours 2017

Bayer Crop Science: Bee Care Center
Wednesday, April 26
9:45 a.m. – 11 a.m.

The Center serves as a hub for premier technological, scientific and academic resources to protect and improve honey bee health and sustainable agriculture.

For nearly 30 years, Bayer has been committed to environmental stewardship and the protection of beneficial insects and bees. Providing society with safe, abundant and affordable food depends both on finding solutions to increase crop yields and protecting pollinators. Bayer’s Bee Care Program has developed several major initiatives to improve bee health, including “Feed A Bee” which aims to improve nutrition for pollinations through additional forage sources, and “Healthy Hives 2020” which funds research to improve hive health in the United States by the year 2020.

The $2.4 million state-of-the-art facility complements the original global Center in Germany and is spread over approximately 6,000 square feet of space. The North American Bee Care Center is part of the company’s $12 million investment in bee health in 2014, and brings together some of the brightest minds in agriculture and apiology to develop comprehensive solutions for bee health. This includes entomologists and apiarists, graduate researchers and more, all of whom are invested in the continuation of Bayer CropScience’s commitment to honey bee health excellence.

To facilitate the Bee Care Program, it houses a full laboratory and teaching apiary, honey extraction and workshop space, interactive learning center, and meeting, training and presentation facilities for beekeepers, farmers and educators, as well as office space for graduate students. On-site honey bee colonies, pollinator-friendly gardens and a screened hive observation area serve to further education and collaboration that will foster significant improvement in honey bee health and stewardship measures and best management practices.

The North American Bee Care Center is supported by other research apiaries, located nearby in the Research Triangle Park area, to extend research projects directed toward bee health. The Center serves as a hub for premier technological, scientific and academic resources to protect and improve honey bee health and sustainable agriculture. Additionally, the North American Bee Care Center is targeting LEED Silver certification. The environmentally sustainable facility will help Bayer CropScience reduce its carbon footprint in an effort to promote corporate environmental stewardship.

Bayer Crop Science: Greenhouse 1, Greenhouse 5 and Greenhouse 6
Wednesday, April 26
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Bayer has developed technologies to meet the world’s growing demand for food.

Since 2010, Bayer has invested nearly $150 million in their Research Triangle Park campus, which now houses both their North American Headquarters as well as their Global Seeds Headquarters. This investment represents meaningful impact for the Research Triangle Park in terms of job creation and economic success as well as the world at large, as Bayer develops technologies to meet the world’s growing demand for food.

Bayer’s commitment to the future of farming is highlighted by their recent investment in Greenhouse 5 (61,000 sf; completed in 2012), Greenhouse 1 (29,500 sf; completed in 2015) and Greenhouse 6 (74,000 sf; completed in 2016). These innovative “Glass Labs” house contain environments for plant growth and experimentation. The research environments include Laboratories, Seed Handling Rooms, Growth Chambers and Greenhouse compartments including one BL3-P compartment for plant pathogen studies. The Greenhouse compartments contain innovative features such as temperature and humidity control, diffuse glazing materials, rainwater harvesting for irrigation and fertigation systems, above and below bench air distribution, supplemental growth lighting and plant growth chambers, containment and security of research activities.

The Modern Office facility renovation, begun in October 2013, enables more than 700 scientists and specialists to work together in LEED certified space that was specifically designed to increase cross-functional collaboration.

The 29,500 square foot facility called Greenhouse 1 is used for research on seed traits, plant diseases and insect testing. The greenhouse is part of the company's nearly $30 million expansion of its facilities in Durham. Greenhouse 1 replaced Greenhouses 3 and 4, which were in operation for more than 30 years. This new facility serves to further promote innovative research and development efforts. GH1 includes several sustainable and environmentally friendly features including a rainwater collection system for greenhouse plant irrigation; low flow, sensored plumbing fixtures; occupant sensored lighting; daylight harvesting; MERV 13 filters to improve indoor air quality; an HVAC energy management system; and reflective roofing to reduce the building’s heat intake.

Greenhouse 5 opened in July 2012. The $20 million, 60,000-square-foot facility focuses on corn, soy and other broadacre crop research. It was designed to withstand hurricane-force winds up to 105 miles per hour and is the first air conditioned greenhouse at its size in the area. Excellent growth conditions for seed production are facilitated in seven walk-in growth chambers with three future expansion spots. These chambers have precise control of temperature and light intensity. The core chamber has a unique raised room that accommodates corn plants growing to full maturity. During construction, 84 percent of construction debris was recycled and the facility has a water capture and recycling system. Rainwater from the roof and condensation of the air handling system is collected, filtered and UV light treated; then it is then available for irrigation. The 70,000 gallon underground water storage tanks are expected to reduce consumption of potable water by approximately 700,000 gallons annually.

Greenhouse 6, a $34 million, 73,500-square-foot facility, is LEED certified and specifically designed to increase cross-functional collaboration. The facility is intended to increase Bayer's capabilities to analyze and develop crops and find novel seeds and traits that will ultimately lead to solving farmers' greatest challenges.

Bayer CropScience, a subsidiary of the German conglomerate Bayer, produces seeds and crop protection products such as insecticides. The company is the biggest global producer of cotton and canola seeds and has launched its own brand of soybean seeds called Credenz.

Syngenta Biotechnology Inc.: Innovation Center, RTP
Wednesday, April 26
2 – 4 p.m.

Housing 30 climate-controlled growth environments in all-glass greenhouses, Syngenta can simulate conditions from Iowa in one room and from Africa right next to it.

Syngenta’s first-of-its-kind, $72 million Advanced Crop Lab allows company researchers to simulate any agricultural climate and precisely measure plant inputs—the key to helping farmers grow more food from fewer resources. Housing 30 climate-controlled growth environments in all-glass greenhouses, Syngenta can simulate conditions from Iowa in one room and from Africa right next to it. This flexibility allows company researchers to focus on developing agricultural traits that optimize crop yields, use resources efficiently and resist various stresses that farmers face every day across the globe.

Much of the company’s work centers on discovery of drought resistant food crops. Syngenta began construction of the 136,000-square-foot greenhouse in 2011, with “growing chambers” that enable researchers to monitor and study how plants respond to various stimuli. Factors such as temperature, light and carbon dioxide levels, and humidity control are individually controlled in the growth chambers, provide tailored environments that allow researchers to work on specific grower challenges.

Design elements of the facility include insulated glass walls that provide a virtually shadowless indoor environment, a liquid-fertigation system to feed and water the plants and an automated roof-washing system. The building is Green Globes Certified, which recognizes the company’s sustainable construction processes. In constructing the new facility, Syngenta reclaimed a former industrial site and recycled more than 85 percent of those materials. The 136,000 sf facility is located within the 50-acre Syngenta RTP Innovation Center.

Registration information for lab tours can be found in the agenda section of the attendee registration. If you already registered for the conference and would like to add a lab tour to your regisration, click here to update your registration.

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