FMC announced made a major announcement today that will expand its reach in the biological crop protection market through two key transactions. FMC has signed a global collaboration agreement with Chr. Hansen, a biosciences company specializing in cultures, enzymes and fermentation, to develop and commercialize biological crop protection products. FMC also announced the acquisition of the Center for Agricultural and Environmental Biosolutions (CAEB), a division of North Carolina-based RTI International, which specializes in sustainable agriculture research.

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“FMC is poised to become a leader in biological crop protection,” said Mark A. Douglas, president, FMC Agricultural Solutions. “We now have a world-class library of microorganisms, deep expertise in biological discovery, and an exclusive strategic alliance with one of the world’s foremost authorities on microbial research and fermentation. We have a powerful platform from which we can launch a range of new products.”

While FMC has been known for its insecticides and herbicides, the company recently added several patented fungicides to its business. Now the company is building on its synthetic chemistries to offer a range of biological insecticides, herbicides and fungicides.

Alliance with Chr. Hansen

The new alliance with Chr. Hansen will allow FMC to compete in the multi-billion dollar biological crop protection market. Chr. Hansen will provide scouting, screening, scale up and fermentation manufacturing expertise while FMC will provide scouting, screening, formulation capabilities, product development and registration experience, and global market access.

FMC and Chr. Hansen have already worked on several projects together. The existing collaboration between the two companies will yield the Brazilian launch of the Nemix C product for use in sugarcane in late 2013, targeting the biggest sugarcane market in the world of 9 million hectares.

Acquisition of CAEB

FMC’s acquisition of CAEB gives the company a proprietary development platform through the addition of a state-of-the art research facility, a team of accomplished scientists, a pipeline of biological products in various stages of development and a world-class library of microbes with deep intellectual property assets, including patent-pending technologies.

CAEB’s facility, located in Research Triangle Park, N.C., will become a biological center within FMC’s global research and development network. The work conducted at the facility will feed into FMC’s alliance with Chr. Hansen.

Read the full press release from FMC here.