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SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN (Sept. 13, 2010) Linnaeus Plant Sciences Inc. has entered a licensing agreement with DuPont to use oil gene intellectual property, advanced gene technologies and biotechnology expertise developed by DuPont to accelerate development and commercialization of value-added Camelina oil.
Camelina, a drought tolerant, non-food oil seed crop, has the potential to reduce global carbon dioxide emissions by offering renewable, bio-degradable feed stocks that can substitute for petroleum in a variety of applications.
“Gaining access to intellectual property and biotechnology expertise from DuPont and Pioneer will greatly accelerate our efforts to improve Camelina for industrial uses,” said Jack Grushcow, president and chief operating officer of Linnaeus Plant Sciences Inc. “Camelina will provide an additional revenue opportunity for farmers as a non-food rotation crop that can be grown with low inputs.”
“DuPont is committed to benefiting society through reducing dependence on fossil fuels,” said Tony Kinney, DuPont research director. “This technology transfer to Linnaeus not only advances our environmental sustainability goals, but also allows an innovative plant science company to take our technology to the next level in Camelina. Ultimately this agreement will be a win-win for both companies.”
Linnaeus has been developing industrial applications for oil seeds for uses beyond fuels, including hydraulic fluids, greases and polymer production, for the last 12 years.
“We have developed an active Camelina breeding program and are fully committed to the development of the crop, integrating trait development through to large scale production.” said Grushcow “This agreement will enable us to greatly improve Camelina’s oil profile delivering a non-food crop grown on marginal lands that has utility well beyond fuel.”
The mission of Linnaeus Plant Sciences is to create value-added, renewable, biodegradable industrial oils in temperate climate oilseed crops. These new oils represent alternatives to current petrochemical-based feedstocks and reduce the refining expense and negative environmental impact that often accompany them.
In 2008 Linnaeus received funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s – Agricultural Bio-products Initiative Program (ABIP) and formed the Industrial Oil Seed Network (IOSN), a group of leading researchers from diverse fields including tribology, greenhouse gas policy, molecular biology, plant breeding, oil formulation, purification and regulatory development.
The Industrial Oil Seed Network is focused on developing a variety of oil seeds to be used as feed stock substitutes for petroleum in a wide-range of market applications. Linnaeus markets its bio-based lubricant products under its Smart Earth Lubricants brand. The Linnaeus oil seed development team is based in the National Research Council’s Plant Biotechnology Institute in Saskatoon.