June 24, 1998
The foundation stone for
the new biotechnology center of KWS Kleinwanzlebener Saatzucht
AG at Einbeck in Germany was laid in the presence of the Federal Minister of
Education, Science, Research and Technology Dr. Jürgen Rüttgers on June 24, 1997. KWS's
new research and communications facility will allow a better integration of conventional
and biotechnology methods in plant breeding. The project involves a total investment of
around DM 30 million.
In his speech, Minister Rüttgers characterised genetic engineering as one of the key
technologies of the 21st century and predicted that "Germany will be the European
leader in biotechnology by the year 2000". He called for a reduction of costs for
registration processes and more flexibility in
administrative procedures. Rüttgers wished KWS every success for the future and said he
is confident that the new research centre would provide a further impetus for
biotechnology in Germany.
"New technologies will not completely replace conventional breeding, but they offer a
useful supplementary tool," said KWS Board of Management Spokesman Dr. Andreas
Büchting to a large audience of politicians and scientists. Using genetic engineering in
plant breeding will make it possible to meet future challenges in breeding and to
"breed to order": KWS's future biotechnology work will concentrate on healthy
plants, improving the use of plant nutrients and expanding application possibilities for
plants as renewable resources.
The biotechology centre reaffirms the importance of research and science to KWS and
signalises the company's confidence in Germany as location for investment. The
"communications hall" will give the interested public an opportunity to see
researchers at work. The company will also organise lectures by specialists and other
informative programmes: KWS takes "transparent research" quite seriously.
The biotechnology center will offer labs, offices and seminar rooms covering an area of
2,300 m2, plus another 4,000 m2 for technical equipment and climatic chambers. The 500-m2
communications hall will provide space for display panels, exhibitions and video
installations and will invite people to find out more about the company and its
The new building is expected to open in April 1999.