UW-Madison turns Monsanto-donated facility into crop research center

By Rob Schultz, Wisconsin State Journal

A $10 million commercial biotech plant laboratory in Middleton that helped develop genetically modified plants and crops was donated by Monsanto Co. to UW-Madison, which has made it the hub of a new crop research center.

The Wisconsin Crop Innovation Center (WCIC) that opened Jan. 3 is combining the strengths of the donated lab and UW’s plant science community to become the top university or nonprofit biotech crop facility in the country, according to Kate VandenBosch, the dean of the school’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

The facility will continue to focus on genetic technology, which is considered controversial by some groups, but it will have an eye toward future science and conduct research not funded by companies that can either gain or lose money from it, she said. Read more …