Syngenta, Bayer Try ‘Open Innovation’ to Find Next Big Agtech Idea

Xconomy Raleigh-Durham — Agriculture is a more technical business than many people realize. Consider modern farm equipment: A John Deere tractor today contains more lines of code than a Boeing 747 jetliner, according to Syngenta’s Rick DeRose.

Big agriculture companies like Syngenta (NYSE: SYT) are now coming to a realization of their own: Not all of the new agtech innovations can come from their own labs or startups that have long fed the pipelines of big ag companies. The industry is expanding its technology scouting beyond M&A deals. Some companies are turning to early-stage research—some of it outside of the agriculture sector—in their search for agtech innovation.

“I think we’re getting more comfortable with the idea that we don’t know what we don’t know,” DeRose said.

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