Seeking: machine learning algorithms

Portrait Chris Lindsay

"This is an amazing challenge… help us unlock the potential of biomass waste to create a sustainable alternative to traditional fossil fuel, something we're truly passionate about. We know we can’t do this alone which is why we’re reaching out to discover new collaborations and opportunities."

Chris Lindsay, Materials Science Team Leader


We are seeking to develop a greener product portfolio across our existing product lines including herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, and more. Our products are aqueous dispersions that often use multiple active ingredients formulated with solvents, surfactants, dispersants, and other co-formulants. Traditionally, small-molecule chemicals, ingredients, and co-formulants are synthesized from building blocks derived from fossil fuels. We are looking to replace the use of fossil fuel derived chemical building blocks with more sustainable building blocks derived from biomass waste streams.

“Syngenta is seeking chemical building blocks derived from biomass waste which could be used to formulate new active ingredients and co-formulants for more sustainable crop protection products. New pathways to existing ingredients and entirely new chemicals are of particular interest. Additionally new sustainable routes to bio-derived solvents are of interest too.”

The solutions we are seeking should be based on chemistries with a low carbon footprint based on both the sustainable biorenewable content and the processes by which they are manufactured. The biorenewable sources should not compete with the food chain or lead to environmental depletion (e.g. deforestation). Preferably, the sources will be biowaste but other waste sources will be considered if they can potentially lead to sustainable and diverse sourcing.

Challenge details:

  • Closing date:

  • Funding:

  • Location:

    UK only

What we're looking for

  •  Full traceability to source
  •  Be sustainable long term

*Based on bio-waste or other sustainable waste sources

  • Low energy/economically viable extraction and/or manufacturing process
  • Potential to scale 5 - 10 year time horizon, but do not need to be scalable in short-term, although short-term solutions are of interest
  • Solutions that are scalable cross-industry, not just applicable to agriculture

*We are also open to hearing about solutions derived from non-renewable recycled waste feedstocks but these are of secondary interest.

  • Crop residue
  • Food Waste
  • Algae
  • Microorganisms
  • Waste streams used in adjacent industries and applications to source ingredients including: Fragrances, Cosmetics, Biofuels, Pharmaceuticals, Biopolymers, Chemicals
  • Chemicals derived from sources that compete with food chain
  • Chemicals which are based on sources which may lead to environmental depletion (e.g. palm oil)

Desired outcome

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What we can offer you

Opportunities To collaborate

You’ll be working as part of the Syngenta team with world-renowned experts at our UK Jealotts Hill site and have access to our global employee network

Access to insight and technologies

You’ll be able to draw on our ground-breaking work in bio renewable chemistries and utilise our facilities and technologies to take your work forward

Funding and backing

We’re able to offer an initial grant of £15,000 to successful applicants, with the opportunity to unlock further performance-based funding milestones over the project lifecycle

New avenues and opportunities

This opportunity is just the start, we’re able to help you explore new markets, opportunities and applications for the technologies and solutions we develop 

Portrait Dave Hughes

“Innovation in our traditional areas is becoming more challenging. We need to look at new ways to develop the optimum solutions for farmers, and deliver them faster and more cost effectively.”

Dave Hughes, Head Technology Identification & Evaluation

Work with us to help with our challenge

Our people are specialists: they are innovators, scientists, engineers, technologists, regulatory experts and data scientists in multiple fields.

Recent success stories

Tomatoes on the vine

Syngenta article four

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Tomatoes on the vine

Syngenta article three

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Tomatoes on the vine

Syngenta article two

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