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FuturaGene and EMBRAPA sign an umbrella Cooperation Framework Agreement

FuturaGene and EMBRAPA sign an umbrella Cooperation Framework Agreement

São Paulo, Brazil, 28 November 2012 - FuturaGene, a world leader in the enhancement of yield and sustainability of woody crops for plantation forestry, biopower and biofuel markets, is pleased to announce the signing of a Cooperation Framework Agreement with EMBRAPA, (Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária) the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture research organisation. Under the agreement, FuturaGene and EMBRAPA will establish collaborative research programs in eucalyptus and other tree species for the enhancement of sustainable development in Brazil and other territories.  The first project to be executed under the agreement will incorporate an aluminium-tolerance gene of EMBRAPA into FuturaGene eucalyptus germplasm to enhance yields in areas affected by aluminium toxicity in the soil.

EMBRAPA is one of the largest public sector tropical agriculture R&D organisations, with strong agroforestry capabilities, an annual R&D budget of over US$1 billion and more than 2,300 researchers in 42 centers located around Brazil. The mission of EMBRAPA, to develop technologies for enhancing food security and crop productivity, underlies the synergies that will allow the two organisations to develop new innovations for sustainable agro-forestry and meet the growing agro-ecological challenges related to productivity.

Mauricio Antonio Lopes, EMBRAPA President, commented:

"The partnership we have established with FuturaGene, which begins with the optimization of eucalyptus tolerance to aluminium, enables both companies to maximize their efforts towards sustainable, high yielding crops and the transition to a green economy.”

Dr Stanley Hirsch, CEO of FuturaGene, added:

“Agro-forestry is a key weapon in fighting climate change and driving socio-economic development.  Yield enhancement through genetic modification is an important factor in sustainable intensification of agro-forestry. Our joint research and development projects with EMBRAPA create a synergy that will allow strengthening of our capacity to improve the genetic diversity and resilience of plantation species and their capacity to restore degraded lands and deal with climate adaptation.”

Under the terms of the agreement, signed at EMBRAPA’s headquarters in Brazil, the partnership focuses on the development of genetic technologies for use in Brazil but allows FuturaGene to apply the technologies developed under the agreement worldwide, ensuring that innovation from forestry research reaches the areas that most need it.

Notes to Editors


Since its inception, on April 26, 1973, Embrapa has generated and recommended more than nine thousand technologies for Brazilian agriculture, reduced production costs and helped Brazil to improve food security whilst, conserving natural resources and the environment and diminishing external dependence on technologies, basic products and genetic materials.

Networking through 42 Research Centers, 5 Service Centers and 13 Central Divisions, Embrapa is present in all biomes of the country. There are 9,657 employees in Embrapa, of which 2,389 are researchers, 18% with master's degrees,74% with doctoral degrees and 7% as post doctorates. Embrapa coordinates the National Agricultural Research System, which includes the State Organizations of Agricultural Research, universities and research institutes of federal or state level, as well as other public and private organizations, directly or indirectly related to agriculture research.

Embrapa maintains projects in International Cooperation in order to perfect knowledge of technical and scientific activities and also shares knowledge and technology with other countries.

About FuturaGene -

FuturaGene, with facilities in Brazil, China and Israel is a leader in plant genetic research and development for the global forestry, biopower and biofuel markets. FuturaGene develops sustainable, ecologically sound technology to meet the ever increasing demands for fiber, fuel and energy crops in the face of declining land and water resources.

FuturaGene’s crop development is focused through two main technology platforms: yield and processability enhancement - driving gains in yield during crop growth and greater processability of crop, post-harvest; and yield protection to protect strategic crops from emerging threats caused by changing climate and diminishing resources and to enable marginal land usage.

FuturaGene’s key crops are eucalyptus and poplar and its most advanced technologies are for yield improvement in sustainable industrial forestry. FuturaGene has fully integrated capabilities from gene sourcing and discovery, through development and in-house regulatory capability, large scale field trial capacity to market channels and captive off-take. It is uniquely positioned as one of the few biotech companies, outside of the “majors”, which has taken a new trait from the lab to late stage regulatory development.

Since July 2010, FuturaGene has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Suzano Pulp and Paper, a leading integrated forestry, pulp, paper and renewable energy company in Brazil. As a wholly owned subsidiary of Suzano, FuturaGene continues its worldwide biotech activities with enhanced resources driving its mission to be a world leader in sustainable plant genetic research and development.

Issued for and on behalf of FuturaGene.

To contact the FuturaGene team at College Hill, email

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Dr Christelle KerouedanAssociate Partner