Bayer and IMBB-FORTH in Greece collaborate to support discovery of novel insect control solutions | News

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Bayer and IMBB-FORTH in Greece collaborate to support discovery of novel insect control solutions

Monheim, September 13, 2017– Bayer and the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas in Greece (IMBB-FORTH) today announced the start of a five-year collaborative research project. This collaboration will seek to reveal key aspects of insect gut physiology and discover novel targets for the development of insect control solutions.

Prof. John Vontas, Head of Molecular Entomology at IMBB, and his team will apply a holistic biotechnology approach, using state-of-the-art technologies to enable the identification and characterization of potential molecular targets in the guts of insect pests. The knowledge and testing systems resulting from the project will support Bayer in its search for sustainable agronomic solutions for a variety of different crops.

“Insect pests pose a great challenge to crop production worldwide,” said Adrian Percy, Head of Research & Development at the Crop Science division of Bayer. “We are excited to collaborate with a prestigious research institute such as IMBB. We believe that this partnership will help us leverage untapped potential in the development of novel pest control solutions, bringing benefits to farmers around the world.”

“Research related to the control of insect pests and disease vectors has been a strategic priority for FORTH for more than two decades,” Director of IMBB Prof. Yannis Tallianidis said. “This major research grant will harness our technological know-how and enable further development of novel means and knowledge in the fight against insect pests”, the President of FORTH Prof. Nektarios Tavernarakis added.

More than 10,000 insect pests are threatening global food and feed supplies. Due to their diversity and adaptability, insects represent one of the biggest challenges to agriculture. Integrated pest management (IPM) approaches that consider complementary chemical, biological, physical and cultural pest control methods, have proven most effective in the fight against insect pests in the long term. The continued search for novel modes of action of chemical and biologically-based products will widen the range of IPM strategies and practices available to manage pests in a sustainable manner.


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Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2016, the Group employed around 115,200 people and had sales of EUR 46.8 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.6 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.7 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015. For more information, go to



The Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IMBB) is one of the six institutes of the Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH). IMBB is based in Heraklion (Crete), with the Department of Biomedical Research located in Ioannina (Epirus). IMBB's mission is the pursuit of breakthrough research in Life Sciences and Biomedicine. IMBB is first in Greece in scientific publications and citations in Health Sciences, with more than 3,600 publications and 160,000 citations in leading international scientific journals. Important research achievements include several international and national prizes, 10 grants awarded by the European Research Council (ERC), the first AXA Chair grant in Greece, several EU Marie Curie Excellence Awards, 10 IMBB researchers elected as members of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), 5 EMBO Young Investigator Awards as well as 15 Excellence grants by the Greek General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT). IMBB is a European reference center for training in imaging and RNA-based gene silencing methodologies and has founded the first Ancient DNA Analysis Lab in Greece. For more information, visit



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