University welcomes Nufarm to discuss innovation and collaboration

Photo of representatives from University of Liverpool's Chemistry Department and Nufarm

Board members and other senior representatives from the global crop protection and seed technologies company, Nufarm, visited the University of Liverpool recently to discuss their longstanding collaboration in agrichemical innovations.

University of Liverpool Professor of Chemistry Steve Rannard welcomed the delegation, led by Nufarm Managing Director & CEO Greg Hunt, to the University’s Materials Innovation Factory where they spent time reviewing and discussing their projects in improving the performance of the active ingredients in agrichemicals used in food production.

In 2014 Professor Rannard began working with the company on poorly soluble agrichemical compounds. He was able to show that formulating current agrichemicals in new ways could lead to improved efficacy and better outcomes across a series of agrichemical types and therefore avoid the need for new chemical entities that would require considerable development, testing, regulation, and approval.

Since the initial undertaking of a proof-of-concept project, more than 40 field trials have been conducted across the world and through a collaborative process a novel (patented) formulation process has been developed that is being transferred and further developed by the Nufarm team.

The collaboration also involves Tandem Nano, a University of Liverpool start-up focused on the development of its proprietary SDN (Solid Drug Nanoparticle) technology platform.

The visit to the University is the first time Nufarm’s board and other senior representatives had met with Steve and his team in person, although visitors from the Nufarm site at Wyke in the UK and the head office in Melbourne, Australia have been regular visitors during the project.

Professor Steve Rannard said: “It was a pleasure to meet the senior team from Nufarm. Hosting the visit here in Liverpool was a great way to discuss our current work together as well as ideas for future potential projects.

“We’ve developed a fantastic relationship with Nufarm over the past nearly ten years and are at the stage where we have developed candidate products together with further opportunities to create a pipeline of new agrichemical innovations.

“This partnership is an excellent example of University–industry collaboration producing real world solutions.”

Greg Hunt said the visit highlighted Nufarm’s strong commitment to agricultural innovation to help farmers get more from their land.

“We’re partnering with the world’s best and brightest to discover new ways to help farmers and growers do more with less in a sustainable way.

“Our partnership with the University of Liverpool is directly helping to make food production more sustainable by increasing the efficacy of solutions that farmers use on farm,” Mr Hunt said.

“We’re excited by the potential of the novel technologies we’ve developed with Steve and his team here in Liverpool and by the future outcomes of our ongoing collaboration,” Mr Hunt said.

Dr Edyta Niezabitowska from Professor Rannard’s team also met with Nufarm to discuss her work in this area across a breadth of different compound classes.

Watch this short video to learn more about our partnership with Nufarm.