Bayer CropScience LP and North Carolina State University (NCSU) formalized a far-reaching collaboration when Pascal Housset, president and head of the Environmental Science business operations unit at Bayer, presented Dr. Johnny Wynne, NCSU’s dean of the College Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), with a $1 million endowment to establish a Chair of Sustainable Development.
“We are honored to have Bayer as a collaborator in our research efforts to find solutions to the complex problems that issues like global climate change, population growth, and food and water shortages present,” said Wynne. “Under Pascal Housset’s leadership, Environmental Science has discovered new and innovative ways to marry business and the environment, to the benefit of both.”
Vital to the sustainability culture that Housset has worked hard to cultivate at Environmental Science is the notion that partnering – in this case with academia – is critical to success.
“We cannot achieve our goals alone. That is why the research expertise of North Carolina State makes the university an ideal choice,” Housset said. “It is within our power to achieve great success for our company while effecting critical change that will benefit society as a whole. It is simply essential to protect the world in which we live and work. Together with the university, we will take great strides in that direction.”
Dr. Tom Rufty has been named the first Bayer Environmental Science Professor of Sustainable Development. Rufty is currently Director of the Center for Turfgrass Environmental Research and Education and Professor of Environmental Plant Physiology of the Department of Crop Science at the NCSU. His areas of research include resource acquisition by plants and plant communities and plant responses to environmental stress.
“This is a great honor for me personally and for all that are involved in our research programs” said Rufty. “I’m proud to be a part of the contributions towards environmental research and sustainable development that we are making here at NCSU.”
Engaging in collaborations with results that go far beyond its campus borders is nothing new for NCSU.
“It [partnering] is an important part of who we are,” Wynne said. “Here at NCSU we have a long history of such collaborations in the public and private sector.”
Those collaborations have produced more than 70 start-up companies and a NCSU portfolio consisting of more than 600 patents. NCSU partnership activities also include 61 corporations and government agencies that employ more than 1,500 employees who work alongside NCSU researchers.
The sustainability culture that Environmental Science shares with NCSU is reflected throughout the company internally and externally through various business practices that include the development of new products dedicated to reducing carbon in the Earth’s atmosphere by promoting plant health.
“As the world becomes more conscious of the climate change crisis, demand for products that meet the dual needs of business and the environment increases,” Housset said. “Events such as the NCSU symposium provide a wonderful opportunity to enlist the help of the academic and research communities to support those dual objectives. All of us at Environmental Science are excited about this new chapter in our collaboration with NCSU.”
Current collaborative efforts between NCSU and Bayer CropScience include studies relating to managing carbon sequestration in trees and turfgrass, biodiversity surveys and research into improving plant health to better manage environmental and insect-related stress.