BASF has opened a new facility in the Ghent region, one of the leading centers for European plant biotechnology research. BASF's subsidiary CropDesign has moved into a new wing of the Bio-Accelerator building in Technologiepark Ghent. The facility comprises 4,000 square meters for labs and offices and a state-of-the-art rooftop greenhouse.

"BASF benefits from the close proximity to excellent world renowned institutions like VIB - the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology," said Peter Eckes, President of BASF Plant Science. "The move helps strengthen our research collaborations with local partners and demonstrates BASF's commitment to modern agricultural solutions."

Daniël Termont, mayor of the City of Ghent, and other guests from politics, business and academia took part at the opening ceremony. "Ghent is a birth place of plant biotechnology and provides some of its best innovations. We are glad that CropDesign is part of this important science hub," said Daniël Termont.

The new facility in the recently constructed wing two of the Bio-Accelerator building includes four floors with labs and offices, one technical floor plus a rooftop greenhouse of 600 square meters for rice research and product development. Altogether the new facility comprises 4,000 square meters.

"Since the acquisition by BASF in 2006, CropDesign has doubled its workforce and outgrown its facility. Now we have more space for interaction between scientists and for testing our new technologies," said Wim van Camp, managing director of CropDesign. "With our technology platform TraitMill, we test more than 140,000 rice plants per year and identify yield enhancing traits for our global projects."

Currently BASF Plant Science employs approximately 145 employees in the Ghent region working at two facilities located in the Technologiepark in Ghent's borough Zwijnaarde and in Nevele. Earlier investments by BASF in the Ghent region were in 2008 the construction of a processing building of 730 square meters, and a new greenhouse in 2011 of 800 square meters to increase throughput and improve quality of the TraitMill platform.