NUtech Ventures of Lincoln has reached a licensing agreement with Bayer CropScience AG for joint research to improve wheat crops, including $2 million for an endowed professorship at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Under the agreement, the German company plans to establish the first North American wheat breeding station near Lincoln and support research and education programs at UNL.
NUtech is the non-profit research commercialization arm of the university.
NUtech director David Conrad said the agreement will improve the wheat breeding programs for both Bayer and UNL and let them collaborate with other companies and universities.
Bayer also will work with Nebraska farmers to produce seeds and will have access to UNL's genetic material to develop new wheat varieties.
Bayer's money will create a faculty chair named for the Nebraska Wheat Growers, which has long supported wheat research at UNL, said Ronnie Green, N.U. vice president and vice chancellor of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
UNL wheat breeder P. Stephen Baenziger, a faculty member since 1986, will be the first to hold the chair.
Joachim Schneider, who heads Bayer's bioscience business group, said the agreement will strengthen both parties' wheat improvement efforts toward a goal of sustainable cereal production and a greater selection of varieties for wheat growers.