Solynta is a breeding and biotechnology company based in Wageningen, the Netherlands – the home town of one of the leading agricultural research institutions in the world. The company develops and applies new breeding technologies to convert potatoes into a hybrid crop. Hybrid potato varieties with superior traits and performance are being generated at a speed that is vastly greater than what can be achieved by traditional breeding. In addition, hybrid potatoes will allow sexual seed propagation, greatly enhancing the speed of product developments and providing tremendous logistical and phytosanitary advantages to the potato industry.
Although people have been breeding new varieties of potato for more than a hundred years, the development of hybrid breeding was long the ‘Holy Grail’ of potato breeding – something which many believed would be impossible, but which had the potential to unlock billions of dollars in farmgate value.
Late in 2009, Solynta’s researchers had a major breakthrough when they achieved proof of principle that Solynta’s hybrid breeding techniques were applicable in potato breeding. Since then, we have focused on building and improving our germplasm, and recently started developing elite parent lines which we can use to produce new potato varieties with better characteristics for consumers, processors and farmers while having lower environmental impact. In that time, our technology has been recognised with several awards, including the Food Valley Award and the Rabobank Innovation Prize. We are very proud that The Dutch Government laureated Solynta as a ‘National Icon’ – HRH King Willem Alexander said that “Solynta will contribute to future wealth and wellbeing and contributes to solving important societal problems”.