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Sygen, Center for Technology Enterprise Sign Deal to Target Increased Biotechnology Funding in Kentucky

Kentucky’s Center for Technology Enterprise (CiTE) has entered into a strategic relationship with Sygen International plc to further promote Kentucky’s leadership role in the scientific improvement of livestock production.

September 14, 2004

Kentucky’s Center for Technology Enterprise (CiTE) has entered into a strategic relationship with Sygen International plc to further promote Kentucky’s leadership role in the scientific improvement of livestock production.

 

Sygen International is a world leader in applying quantitative genetics and biotechnology to animal breeding, with research facilities located in Franklin, KY. The engagement will allow the organizations to jointly pursue state and federal funding opportunities for research diversification and commercialization opportunities in pigs, shrimp, poultry, cattle, finfish, and other animals.

 

Sygen’s affiliate, SyAqua, initiated shrimp breeding operations in 2002 in response to Sygen’s global initiative to leverage its biotechnology investment across multiple species.

Sygen’s success is attributed to its thorough concentration on, and significant investment in all aspects of genetics, technology and health.

 

Stephen Pearce, Sygen’s Biotechnology Funding Manager will serve as Project Director and executive-in-residence in CiTE’s Economic Development Group. Pearce will serve as a liaison between Sygen’s internal scientific team and CiTE to identify and oversee funding opportunities for commercializing Sygen’s expansive biotechnology research agenda and to provide general technical and scientific support to CiTE.

 

“When Sygen moved its US-based research and development laboratory, and shrimp breeding research facility to Kentucky, it created a unique opportunity for technology-based economic development,” said Brian Mefford, CiTE president and chief executive officer.

 

Dr. Hein van der Steen, Sygen’s Director of Animal Science Research said, “This

collaboration leverages our global technical resources with CiTE’s federal and state

economic development expertise. The synergies created by this collaboration will promote Kentucky’s leadership in agriculture and commitment to funding biotechnology research initiatives.”

 

Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher recently announced the formation of an advisory council to increase Kentucky’s share of funding in the areas of biotechnology and life sciences. The objective of the council is to boost the development of the industry through technology transfer and commercialization of new ideas and discoveries. In addition, the council will focus on attracting technology-related venture capital to Kentucky.

 

In his role at CiTE, Pearce will work in the ConnectKentucky economic development group to identify opportunities for biotechnology research and development for Sygen as well as other Kentucky biotechnology companies. At present, the Commonwealth has about 70 companies in the biotechnology industry, with expectations for growth in the coming decade.

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