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Company History

In its present form, Syngenta is a young company. But it stems from an industrial tradition going back almost 250 years. We are proud of that heritage, and of the many milestones en route to today's leading position worldwide.

2012 At the G8 Summit, Syngenta announces it will invest more than $500 million to build a $1 billion business in Africa over 10 years, reflecting the belief that Africa has the resources not only to feed its growing population but also to become a major world food exporter.

Syngenta receives approval for the cultivation of the MIR604 trait and quadruple corn stack AGRISURE VIPTERA® 4 from the Secretary of Agriculture in Argentina.

Syngenta agrees to acquire US biotechnology company Pasteuria Bioscience Inc. Their products will complement Syngenta's existing chemical nematicide range and support integrated solutions across crops.

Syngenta announces the proposed acquisition of Devgen, a global leader in hybrid rice and RNAi technology. The transaction is subsequently completed in early 2013.

Syngenta receives European Union (EU) approval for isopyrazam, the first active ingredient from a strong pipeline of next-generation fungicides.

Syngenta and Novozymes enter into two exclusive global agreements to commercialize Novozymes' Taegro® and JumpStart® technologies. Taegro®, a fermented biological fungicide based on a naturally occurring bacterium, offers broad spectrum disease control at low application rates. JumpStart® is a seed-applied biological that increases phosphate solubility in the soil.

Integration of commercial teams is completed in every territory, enabling the company to extend integrated genetic and chemical solutions to growers worldwide.

Syngenta raises the sales target for its eight key crops to $25 billion by 2020, reflecting the accelerating rate of innovation and strategy delivery.

2011 Syngenta divests its Materials Protection business to Lanxess. The company also granted Lanxess exclusive licensing and supply agreements.

Syngenta receives full deregulation for its corn amylase trait from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Enogen® corn seed provides for a more efficient production of ethanol.

The Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, Syngenta and CIMMYT signs a partnership to develop drought-tolerant maize for smallholder farmers in Asia. The five-year program is called "Affordable, Accessible Maize for Asia".

Syngenta grants DuPont business, Pioneer Hi-Bred, a non-exclusive, global license to its corn rootworm trait MIR604 (Agrisure®) for corn seed.

2010 Syngenta and ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) launch a new Sustainable Agroecosystems professorship. Syngenta will donate CHF 10 million to the ETH Zürich Foundation to finance a new professorship and associated research staff. The professorship aims to advance science, education and public dialogue related to sustainable agriculture and food security.

Syngenta assumes full ownership of its GreenLeaf Genetics joint venture with DuPont. The new structure underscores Syngenta's commitment to helping independent seed companies provide a wide range of choices to growers.

Syngenta Indonesia breaks ground on a $26 million corn seeds processing plant in Pasuruan, East Java. The facility will be operational by the second half of 2011 and have a seed capacity of up to 5,700 metric tons.

Syngenta Asia Pacific opens its new research and development (R&D) facility in Singapore which will house its molecular marker and formulation development laboratories.

Syngenta introduces Agrisure Artesian™ in corn in the US, the industry-first new technology delivering improved yields on dryland and limited-irrigation acres as well as acres prone to drought stress.

Syngenta grants Bayer CropScience a worldwide, non-exclusive license for use of VIPCOT™ insect control technology in cotton.

Syngenta acquires the Maribo Seed sugar beet business from Nordic Sugar. This acquisition consolidates Syngenta's position in European sugar beet.

Syngenta completes its $600 million capacity expansion program for the production of crop protection products; this is Syngenta's largest ever investment program.

Syngenta and Embrapa, the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, start partnership to improve crop quality and yield in various crops, such as corn, cotton and soybean.

Syngenta joins Sustainability Consortium as founding member.

Syngenta enters into a public-private partnership with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) to focus on the development and advancement of technology in wheat.
2009 Syngenta acquires two U.S. lettuce seed companies: Synergene Seed & Technology, Inc. and Pybas Vegetable Seed Co., Inc.

Syngenta Ventures makes an equity investment in U.S. biotech company Metabolon, its first direct investment.

Syngenta ranks among the Top 20 Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Employers according to survey results published in a special feature of Science magazine.

Syngenta and IRRI collaborate in undertaking rice research, build scientific capacity, and establish a Scientific Know-how Exchange Program to benefit Asia's rice farmers.

Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) announces a public-private partnership between Syngenta, CIMMYT and SFSA to identify and map genetic markers for use in wheat resistance breeding against Ug99 stem rust.

Syngenta acquires Monsanto's hybrid sunflower seeds activities. The acquisition strengthens Syngenta's leading sunflower business.

Syngenta launches "Operation Pollinator", a program to provide essential habitat and food sources for pollinating insects across Europe. Operation Pollinator is based on eight years of research and the success of Operation Bumblebee in the United Kingdom.

Syngenta and Dow AgroSciences announce an agreement to cross license their respective corn traits for commercialization within their branded seeds businesses.

Syngenta announces research collaboration with Anhui Rice Research Institute of China to conduct tests of novel gene functions in key crops such as corn and soybean.
2008 Syngenta and Dow AgroSciences announce a research and development agreement to evaluate current and future Dow AgroSciences compounds for incorporation into Syngenta's market-leading seed treatment portfolio.

Syngenta acquires Argentine seeds company SPS, a company specialized in the development, production and marketing of seeds including soybean and corn.

Syngenta announces Plene™, a breakthrough sugar cane planting technology in Brazil to dramatically improve the cost efficiency of sugar cane planting. Syngenta´s innovation would reduce planting costs per hectare by some 15%.

Syngenta acquires the Chrysanthemum and Aster business from the US flowers producer Yoder Brothers. Chrysanthemums are one of the top five selling pot and garden flowers in the global industry.

Syngenta acquires the US flower seeds producer Goldsmith Seeds. The acquired company breeds, produces and sells a broad range of pot and bedding products, including major crops such as cyclamen, impatiens and petunia.

Syngenta receives the 2008 World Business and Development Award (WBDA) for the development and successful introduction of a new sugar beet that can be grown under tropical climate conditions and brings significant advantages to farmers, the environment, the sugar and ethanol industries and the economy.

Syngenta launches refreshed corporate brand and visual identity and introduces its company purpose "Bringing plant potential to life".

Syngenta builds major global biotech research center in Beijing, China. The new facility has a global scope and complements Syngenta's biotech research activities in the US.

Syngenta strengthens Stein campus through CHF 85 million investment; inauguration of expanded research center including the Seed Care Institute.

Syngenta donates corn genetics stocks to the Maize Functional Diversity Group.

Syngenta, DuPont sign agreement for access to broad insect control technology in corn

AgroFresh and Syngenta form strategic alliance on Invinsa™ crop stress protection.
2007 Syngenta and the Royal Society of Chemistry announce the creation of the Pan Africa Chemistry Network to help promote the economic and social development of the continent.

Syngenta introduces tropical sugar beet for food and biofuels. The introduction of tropical sugar beet in India brings significant advantages to farming and economy.

Syngenta reinforces vegetable seeds with Zeraim Gedera acquisition.

Syngenta enters into five-year research collaboration with the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology (IGDB) in Beijing, China. Syngenta will have rights to commercialize developed field crops traits for global agriculture markets.

Syngenta takes stake in Sanbei, Chinese seeds company.

Syngenta acquires Fischer, leading European flowers company.
2006 Syngenta acquires Conrad Fafard, Inc., a leading North American producer of packaged growing media, expanding the companies NAFTA lawn and garden business.

Syngenta acquires Emergent Genetics Vegetable A/S.

Syngenta and the ETH Zurich Foundation announce the creation of a scholarship foundation for PhD students conducting research projects at ETH Zurich in the area of plant science.

DuPont and Syngenta announce licensing agreements and the formation of GreenLeaf Genetics LLC, a joint venture that will bring expanded choice to North American farmers through broader access to the companies' proprietary corn and soybean genetics and biotechnology traits.

Syngenta included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the first time.
2005 Syngenta and COMPO in strategic alliance for consumer lawn and garden products.

Syngenta and INSEAD announce the creation of a scholarship foundation for students from emerging countries to study for a Master of Business Administration degree (MBA) at INSEAD.

Syngenta enters into three-year research collaboration with Hubei Biopesticide Engineering Research Center (HBERC) of the Hubei Academy of Agricultural Sciences based in Wuhan, China. The aim of the collaboration is to discover natural chemicals that can be used as starting points for the development of novel crop protection agents.

Syngenta included in the FTSE4 Good Sustainability Index for the first time.

Syngenta announces the donation of important genetic information on Phytophthora infestans or Potato Late Blight, one of the most devastating plant diseases in global agriculture, to an international scientific gene database.

Syngenta and Sumitomo enter herbicide license agreement.
2004 Syngenta donates Golden Rice to the Golden Rice Humanitarian Board for developing countries.

Syngenta and Delta and Pine Land (D&PL) of the USA announce a long-term agreement to develop and commercialize novel biotechnology products for cotton.

Syngenta acquires Golden Harvest: US corn and Soybean business further enhanced.

Syngenta donates genomics seed collection.

Syngenta and Fox Paine agree to acquire Advanta BV , one of the world's leading seed companies, from AstraZeneca of the UK and Royal Cosun of the Netherlands.

Syngenta and Tanimura & Antle form a partnership to deliver premium quality produce to consumers. The joint venture, Dulcinea Farms, LLC., will market Dulcinea™ branded produce items including the PureHeart™ miniature seedless watermelon and a new ultra sweet Tuscan style cantaloupe.

Syngenta acquires all outstanding shares of Dia-Engei, the Japanese leader in producing and marketing seedlings of flowering plants and vegetables.
2003 Syngenta introduces the world's first hybrid barley variety in the United Kingdom . The variety is named Colossus.
2002 Syngenta and Diversa form a broad collaboration to establish a shared biotechnology research platform and to discover products.

Dr. Stephen Goff, director of Genome Technology at Syngenta, has been named Research Leader of the Year by Scientific American magazine.

Syngenta releases the Rice Genome Map.

Mary Dell Chilton receives the Franklin Institute Award.
2001 The Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture is launched.

The Torrey Mesa Research Institute (TMRI), the genomics research center of Syngenta, completes the Rice Genome Map in collaboration with Myriad Genetics Inc.


Syngenta Logo

Syngenta inherits the strengths and traditions of two excellent companies. However, it will have a clear personality of it own. Our name, Syngenta, has two distinct roots. "Syn" stems from Greek. It reflects synergy and synthesis, integration, and consolidating strengths. "Genta" relates to humanity and individuals. It stems from the Latin "gens," for people or community. So Syngenta means "bringing people together."
2000 November 13: On November 13, 2000 Novartis and AstraZeneca merge their agribusinesses to form Syngenta, the first global group focusing exclusively on agribusiness.
1999 Astra AB of Sweden and Zeneca Group PCL of UK merge, becoming AstraZeneca.
1998 Novartis announces the formation of NADI, the Novartis Agricultural Discovery Institute, one of the largest single research endeavours dedicated to agricultural genomics research and development.
1997 Zeneca attains the rights to chlorothalonil from ISK.

Zeneca acquires Mogen, a Netherlands-based plant Biotechnology Company.

Novartis attains the crop protection division of Merck & Co, adding the insecticide abamectin to its list of products.
1996 Zeneca offers the first GM tomato puree to customers. Tomatoes were enhanced to stay ripe in the field longer, resulting in better processing.

Zeneca Seeds and Cosun/ Royal VanderHave Group form the joint venture company Advanta.

Zeneca's strobilurin fungicide Amistar® achieves registration.

Sandoz and Ciba merge to form Novartis in one of the largest corporate mergers in history.
1994 Zeneca is established after ICI demerges three of its businesses (Pharmaceuticals, Agrochemicals and Specialties) beginning in '93.
1990 Ciba-Geigy AG acquires Maag Group.
1987 ICI acquires Stauffer Chemical Company.
1985 ICI launches its insecticide Karate®.
1983 ICI Seeds is formed to add seed-breeding capability to the business.
1980 Ciba establishes a special biotechnology unit.

Sandoz acquires the Zaadunie group of Holland. Sluis & Groot (S&G) was one of the prominent marketing companies of Zaadunie. S&G is one of the three brandnames within Syngenta Seeds.
1978 Introduction of systemic fungicide Ridomil by Ciba-Geigy.
1976 Sandoz attains Northrup King.
1975 Sandoz acquires Rogers Seed Company, moving into the seed market.
1974 Ciba expands into the seeds business with the acquisition of the US-based Funk Seeds International.
1973 PPL becomes fully independent from ICI agricultural division.
1970 ICI establishes ICI Americas Inc.

Ciba and Geigy merge to form Ciba-Geigy.
1964 PPL becomes apart of ICI's Agriculture Division.
1956 Geigy introduces triazine-based herbicides (Simazine, Atrazine) allowing farmers to control weeds for the first time.
1954 A group of chemicals originally discovered in 1947 are re-evaluated by ICI, leading to the discovery and development of diquat and paraquat.
1953 PPL becomes wholly owned by ICI.
1940 Dr. Bill Templeman of ICI, at Jealott's Hill, discovers the selective properties of alphanapthylacetic acid, leading to the synthesis of the herbicides MCPA AND 2,4-D.
1939 Paul Müller, a Geigy researcher, discovers the insecticidal efficacy of DDT.
1937 Plant Production Limited (PPL) is formed as a fifty-fifty joint company between ICI and Cooper McDougall & Robertson Ltd.
1935 Geigy production of insecticides.
1928 ICI begins work on the Agricultural Research Station at Jealott's Hill in the UK.
1926 Imperial Chemical Industries is formed with merger of Brunner Mond Ltd, Nobel Industries, British Dyestuffs Coronation Ltd, and United Alkali Co. Ltd.
1884 Ciba is established.
1876 Sandoz is founded.
1758 Geigy is founded.
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