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Syngenta opens digital innovation lab in Singapore

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Tina Lawton, Syngenta regional director for Asia Pacific with Economic Development board energy and chemicals director Cindy Koh at the opening event.

SWISS agribusiness firm Syngenta has opened in Singapore its first digital innovation lab in Southeast Asia which will create digital solutions for Asia's agricultural landscape.

The lab adds to three other such facilities that Syngenta has worldwide - in United States, United Kingdom and India - which aim to digitally transform agriculture through the development of technologies and solutions.

Located at co-working space Level3, the Singapore lab will have a headcount of six staff.

Syngenta Asia Pacific head of commercial excellence David Ryan said the firm sees great potential in digital solutions as they enable the region's smallholder farmers to improve productivity, drive on-farm sustainability and ultimately improve their livelihoods.

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"We are very excited to see how digital data and other new technologies can transform agriculture - from how we interact with farmers to the way that crops are managed," he said in a statement.

According to Syngenta, digital solutions developed by its digital innovation labs around the world - including a mobile app that allows farmers to easily identify pests and diseases through photos, precision agriculture tools and tailored risk management solutions - have already benefited 150,000 smallholders.

Digital innovation lab lead Dave Shepherd said partnerships with local and regional innovators are critical to the way Syngenta develops solutions as it enables the firm to embed a culture of experimentation and also allow successful innovations to scale.

"As such, Singapore was a natural choice for us as it has an environment that encourages a growing ecosystem of startups and innovations," he added.

Singapore Economic Development Board energy and chemicals director Cindy Koh said the lab will strengthen Singapore's position as a leading agrochemical hub in the region, and create exciting multidisciplinary career opportunities for Singaporeans in the chemical industry.