Prof Marc Van Montagu, Chairman of FuturaGene's Scientific Advisory Board, Receives the World Food Prize 2013  
6/20/2013 10:29:38 AM

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Sao Paulo, Brazil – Wednesday, June 19, 2013 – FuturaGene, a world leader in the enhancement of yield and sustainability of woody crops for plantation forestry, biopower and biofuel markets, today announced that the chairman of its Scientific Advisory Board, Professor Marc Van Montagu, is a joint recipient of this year’s World Food Prize. The award is shared between three distinguished international scientists for their ground-breaking research in the field of agricultural biotechnology. Prof Van Montagu and his colleagues at Ghent University were the first to design a technology for the stable transfer of genes into plants. Their findings paved the way for the development of new genetic lines of crops expressing beneficial traits.

Commenting on the announcement, Prof Van Montagu said, “I am very honoured to have been awarded the World Food Prize 2013 in recognition of our research and also of its potential. At the same time, it is vital that Governments around the world continue to make progress in establishing policy frameworks that allow the transfer and deployment of plant biotechnology for the sustainable improvement of agro-forestry productivity and resilience in rural communities of the less developed countries, where the need is greatest."

Stanley Hirsch, CEO of FuturaGene, commented, “FuturaGene is committed to transferring advances in plant biotechnology into commercial production. We can only succeed in this by working with global leaders in key areas of technology. Prof Van Montagu has made some very significant advances through his research and his advice has always been extremely valuable to FuturaGene. This prize is very well deserved: We congratulate him and would like to thank him for his invaluable contribution and support since joining our Scientific Advisory Board.”

For more information on the World Food Prize, please visit:

About Professor Marc Van Montagu

Professor Marc Van Montagu obtained his M.Sc. in Chemistry and Organic Chemistry and a PhD in Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry from Ghent University. He is one of the pioneers of the enhancement of agronomic properties of plants through genetic engineering. For instance, his achievements include the development of the first insect resistant and herbicide tolerant plants.

Through his career Prof Van Montagu has held many university positions, founded and served as Scientific Director or Scientific Advisor at many leading plant biotech companies and advised leading institutes and universities in the plant sciences arena. He has also served in key Science Policy positions, including the Presidency of the European Federation of Biotechnology. Prof Van Montagu is an Emeritus Professor at Ghent University as well as the founder and chairman of the Board of the Institute for Plant Biotechnology for Developing Countries (IPBO), Ghent University in Belgium. Prof Van Montagu is committed to the transfer of this technology to developing countries to underpin sustainable development and provide food security and socio-economic development.

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 and paper company in Brazil. As a wholly owned subsidiary of Suzano, FuturaGene continues its worldwide biotech activities with enhanced resources to maintain its position as a world leader in sustainable plant genetic research and development.

For additional information please contact:

Dr Stanley Hirsch

Group CEO, FuturaGene

+34 637 45 77 08

Sara El Kadri

Communications and Public Relations, FuturaGene

+55 19 2108 3563

Dr Christelle Kerouedan / Cora Kaiser

College Hill

+44 20 7866 7865

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