Translating discovery research into commercial products
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Rick Broglie offers concrete examples of bridging “the valley of death”—i.e. transferring science and technology into commercial products. He concentrated on the work that is going on at DuPont Crop Genetics research and Development, where they try to predict trends for agricultural production in the next 5 -10 years. He sees growing demands for biobased fuels and materials, which with other factors, will drive their farmer customers towards more-intensive production systems. They use two complementary paths for product development: the transgenic, gene-discovery approach that has been used for products currently on the market, and, for more complex traits—e.g. balanced amino acids, increased energy availability via increased oil and decreased fiber content—a “new technologies” approach that may or may not involve genetic engineering. New traits have to be commercialized in high-yielding germplasm, and several enabling technologies are employed including molecular genetics; backcrossing can be made more efficient by using molecular markers to select lines with the background of the recurrent parent.
Agricultural biotechnology; technology transfer; intellectual property; regulation; genetic engineering; public good; bioethics; skill development; public funding, industry funding
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