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Syngenta announces $71 million expansion in North Carolina

  • Syngenta announces plans to begin construction on new biotechnology research facilities in Research Triangle Park
  • New facilities will include all-glass, climate-controlled greenhouses and precision growth chambers to study agronomic traits
  • Construction is scheduled to begin in summer 2011

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., MAY 20, 2011 — Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc., has announced plans to begin construction on a $71 million state-of-the-art biotechnology research facility inResearch Triangle Park.

Building on recent successes in delivering agronomic traitsfor growers, the new 147,000 square foot research and development complex will provide Syngenta researchers the environment to pursue new traits that will help farmers grow more from less.

The new site will include all-glass, climate-controlled greenhouses and precision growth chambers, which, borrowing from technology developed by NASA, will offer complete control of multiple growth variables, including water, nutrients, light and atmospheric gases.

“We’re very excited about the capabilities this new facility will enable,” said Michiel van Lookeren Campagne, president of Syngenta Biotechnology. “These sophisticated growth environments will help our researchers study traits with greater precision and efficiency, ultimately leading to discoveries that will enhance plant productivity.”

Utilizing the new growth environments, scientists will isolate environmental elements in order to study their effects on specific agronomic traits, focusing on improving crop yields by combating plant stresses such as droughtand insect pressures. Research will be performed on key crops including corn, soybeans, sugar cane, rice and vegetables.

“Biotechnology is a sector that did not exist a century ago but is today a major driver for many national and regional economies, including North Carolina's,” Gov. Bev Perdue said. “We can only compete in this kind of high tech industry by continuing to invest in our people -- and that means protecting our public education system must be our top priority. Syngenta picked North Carolina in part because they know we can produce highly skilled, well educated workers."

The new facility will be located adjacent to the company’s existing campus in Durham County. Syngentaexpects to break ground on the new site in June.

“We’ve been operating in RTP for more than 25 years and the community here has been very supportive of Syngenta and its employees,” continued van Lookeren Campagne. “Through our employees’ enthusiastic support of Syngenta’s community outreach initiatives, we’ve grown to become an integrated member of this vibrant region.

“North Carolina is a leader in agricultural biotechnology, and close ties with academic and research institutions provide an environment that fosters innovation. I want to thank Durham County, the State of North Carolina, the North Carolina Biotechnology Centerand the Greater Durham Chamber of Commercefor their support.”

Syngenta Biotechnology opened its doors in Research Triangle Park in 1984. Since that time, the company has expanded its facilities and employment in the park, which now include greenhouses, laboratories and administrative offices.

For more detailed information regarding the expansion, please visit:

www.syngentabiotech.com/RTPexpansion.

Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc. is a leadinginnovator and collaborator in plant genetics and serves as the global headquarters for plant biotechnology research and development for Syngenta. The company employs approximately 400 people at its RTP campus.  The company was ranked in 2010 as the No. 7 science employer in the world by Sciencemagazine.

Syngenta is one of the world's leading companies with more than 26,000 employees in over 90 countries dedicated to our purpose: Bringing plant potential to life. Through world-class science, global reach and commitment to our customers we help to increase crop productivity, protect the environment and improve health and quality of life.  For more information about us please go to www.syngenta.com.

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Media contacts:

Steven Goldsmith
Syngenta Biotechnology 
steven.goldsmith@syngenta.com
, (919) 226-7351

Casey Allen
Gibbs & Soell, Inc. Public Relations
callen@gibbs-soell.com
, (919) 870-5718