A new business that can uncover deep biological insights from huge quantities of data to determine precise biological interventions to improve the yield and resilience of crops and livestock has been formally launched by Wheatsheaf Group, the international investor in food and agricultural businesses.
Synomics, a biological insights business, can create new insights rapidly, in ways that current technology cannot achieve, through a combination of its proprietary combinatorial Insights Platform applied by a team of highly experienced agriculture domain experts.
The Platform is an adaptation of a system already proven by PrecisionLife, another Wheatsheaf invested company, to find new treatment opportunities for unmet medical needs across a range of diseases in humans.
The business has spent the past 12 months developing the platform for a new audience, to enable animal and crop scientists and producers to get a better understanding of what drives key production traits and innovate accordingly.
Dr Peter Kristensen, the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of Synomics, says the success of the business will be judged on the quality and biology of the food produced through the insights it can deliver: “Unlocking the power of biology to enable new innovation through the food chain in order to ultimately feed the world’s billions in a sustainable way is a gigantic ambition,” he admits, “but I believe we can give the industry the insights to do it.
“The proprietary combinatorial analytics platform we have developed will give businesses throughout agriculture the insights they need to innovate new products and solutions at speeds that haven’t been possible before, and at significantly less expense. Both factors are extremely important in an increasingly competitive global environment.”
Dr Jon Lightner, Executive Chairman of Synomics and a well-known Technology leader in Agribusiness, says the end goal is to create animals and plants that are more productive and resilient, and in effect ignite a new revolution in world food production: “We are giving scientists, farmers and food producers the ability to learn more about the animals they breed and the crops that they grow with insights they have not been previously able to liberate from the data they already hold.
“Our technology can unlock the next wave of understanding of the relationship between subtle biology and observable outcomes, and the application of this understanding to make positive impacts in food production. We can be a catalyst and enabler of positive change in our food systems.”
To coincide with the launch, Synomics has published a report into Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD) which discovered>50 NEW Quantitative Trait Nucleotides (QTNs) associated with disease resistance or susceptibility.
A further report on genomic improvement in dairy cattle identified more than 100 highly predictive Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) linked to health, production and fertility traits which could lead to a step-change in increased genetic gain in dairy cattle breeding.