Center For Technology Enterprise Signs Deal To Target Increased Biotechnology Funding In Kentucky

BOWLING GREEN, Ky., Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Kentucky's Center for Technology Enterprise (CiTE) has entered into a strategic relationship with Sygen International plc to further promote Kentucky's leadership role in the scientific improvement of livestock production.

Sygen International is a world leader in applying quantitative genetics and biotechnology to animal breeding, with research facilities located in Franklin, KY. The engagement will allow the organizations to jointly pursue state and federal funding opportunities for research diversification and commercialization opportunities in pigs, shrimp, poultry, cattle, finfish, and other animals.

Stephen Pearce, Sygen's Biotechnology Funding Manager will serve as Project Director and executive-in-residence in CiTE's Economic Development Group. Pearce will serve as a liaison between Sygen's internal scientific team and CiTE to identify and oversee funding opportunities for commercializing Sygen's expansive biotechnology research agenda and to provide general technical and scientific support to CiTE.

Sygen's affiliate company, PIC, is well established in pig breeding dating back to 1962. Its SyAqua affiliate initiated shrimp breeding operations in 2002 in response to Sygen's global initiative to leverage its biotechnology investment across multiple species. Sygen's success is attributed to its thorough concentration on, and significant investment in all aspects of genetics, technology and health.

"PIC has helped to establish Kentucky as a world biotechnology leader in applying animal breeding research and quantitative genetics to livestock production," confirmed Brian Mefford, CiTE president and chief executive officer. "When Sygen moved its US-based research and development laboratory, and shrimp breeding research facility to Kentucky, it created a unique opportunity for technology-based economic development."

Dr. Hein van der Steen, Sygen's Director of Animal Science Research said, "This collaboration leverages our global technical resources with CiTE's federal and state economic development expertise. The synergies created by this collaboration will promote Kentucky's leadership in agriculture and commitment to funding biotechnology research initiatives."

Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher recently announced the formation of an advisory council to increase Kentucky's share of funding in the areas of biotechnology and life sciences. The objective of the council is to boost the development of the industry through technology transfer and commercialization of new ideas and discoveries. In addition, the council will focus on attracting technology-related venture capital to Kentucky.

In his role at CiTE, Pearce will work in the ConnectKentucky economic development group to identify opportunities for biotechnology research and development for Sygen as well as other Kentucky biotechnology companies. At present, the Commonwealth has about 70 companies in the biotechnology industry, with expectations for growth in the coming decade.

About Sygen:

Sygen International plc is a world leader in applying quantitative genetics and biotechnology to animal breeding. The company's technology, products and services enable producers and farmers to enhance meat quality and improve efficiency in the production of meat animals. Sygen applies a unique combination of quantitative genetics and biotechnology to animal breeding, which is applicable across all livestock species. Sygen's products and services, which allow farmers and producers to create higher quality and healthier non-GMO food products, add value throughout the global meat supply chain of farmers, producers, processors, distributors, retailers and consumers. Headquartered in Oxfordshire, UK, Sygen companies operate in 30 countries on five continents, with laboratories located in Kentucky, USA, and Cambridge, UK. For more information, visit

PIC, a division of Sygen, is the international leader in providing genetically superior pig breeding stock and technical support for maximizing genetic potential to commercial pork producers. Operating for over 40 years, PIC's success is attributed to its thorough concentration on, and significant investment in, all aspects of genetics, technology and health. For more information, visit

SyAqua, a division of Sygen, is a world-leading supplier of shrimp breeding stock. It was established in 2002 as Sygen's aquaculture division. SyAqua operates Genetic Nucleus Facilities in Hawaii and Mexico and conducts research at its laboratory in Kentucky, USA. It also operates businesses in Mexico, Thailand and Brazil. For more information, visit

About CiTE and ConnectKentucky:

CiTE is a technology-based economic development organization whose mission is to identify and apply technology to generate a positive impact across the economy. ConnectKentucky is a division of CiTE and is a strategic alliance of technology-minded companies, universities and government entities working to accelerate technology in Kentucky. ConnectKentucky works with policy-makers to support Kentucky's technology strategy and works statewide to grow the Commonwealth's technology infrastructure. The ultimate objective of ConnectKentucky is to increase the number of technology companies and workers in Kentucky. For more information visit

Center for Technology Enterprise

CONTACT: Susan Dennis, Communications Director of CiTE, +1-270-781-4320or, or Anne Mann, Strategic Marketing Manager ofPIC/Sygen, +1-270-598-5298, or

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