RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – UPL, a multinational agriculture company based in India, has opened a global research-and-development hub in Research Triangle Park to develop products for sustainable agriculture in partnership with collaborating companies.

The hub, called the OpenAg Center, will hire about 30 scientists and technicians over the next year, said Adrian Percy, UPL’s chief technology officer.

The 45,000-square-foot facility is located in the Alexandria Center for AgTech at 5 Laboratory Drive. It includes climate-controlled research greenhouses and space for formulation, analytical chemistry and biochemistry laboratories to support application, delivery, characterization, mode of action and resistance research.

Through what the company calls its OpenAg Purpose, the hub will partner with other innovation-based companies “to quickly validate a wide range of technologies from the latest array of biologically inspired approaches to new chemistry-based innovations.” Applications will include fungicides, insecticides, herbicides and crop establishment products.

“Our food production systems need a shakeup,” said Percy. “Agriculture is in dire need of transformation, and today’s painfully slow rate of technology innovation and on-farm deployment simply can’t continue. Our OpenAg Purpose is tearing down limits and borders to create partnerships that will transform agriculture by delivering broad value across the entire food production network.”

Through a network of partners, OpenAg will benefit the entire grower ecosystem, from the smallest-scale farmers all the way to industrial growers across the world, the company said.

By combining the agility and innovation of startup companies with UPL’s scientific, R&D, intellectual property, field development and registration expertise, the OpenAg Center “will fuel a faster, more efficient process of getting technologies tested, approved and out in the field,” said Mark Singleton, head of new technologies for UPL.

The company has launched a new website to connect potential collaborators with UPL experts.

UPL will also provide online discussions and virtual exhibits to introduce discovery-based innovation companies to its OpenAg platform during the World Agri-Tech London Virtual Innovation Summit, Sept. 15-16. Percy will give the keynote presentation on Sept. 16 at 2:40 p.m. British Summer Time. To learn more and register, visit

UPL, based in Mumbai, is a global provider of sustainable agriculture products with annual revenue exceeding $5 billion. It is one of the five largest agriculture-solutions companies worldwide with more than 10,000 employees in more than 130 countries.

The company’s products include biologicals and traditional crop protection solutions with more than 13,600 registrations.

By locating its OpenAg Center in RTP, UPL joins one of the world’s largest communities of agriculture companies.

North Carolina has 165 ag tech companies, and over half of them are in RTP and the greater Research Triangle region of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. The state’s ag tech sector ranges from small startups to multinational corporations such as BASF, Bayer, Novozymes, Syngenta and Zoetis.

(C) N.C. Biotech Center