Product design through research and development
A Syngenta case study

Page 1: Introduction

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Syngenta is one of the world”s largest plant science companies. It is a leader in crop protection - developing products to control weeds, pests and fungal diseases of plants. Syngenta also breeds a wide range of crops such as wheat and sugar beet. It has more than 25,000 people working in over 90 countries who are dedicated to its purpose of 'bringing plant potential to life'. The company...
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Page 2: New product development

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New product development (NPD) is the process which identifies, develops and tests new product opportunities. Firms may develop new products for a number of reasons. These include: replacing declining products adding to the current portfolio filling a gap in the market maintaining competitive advantage competing with rivals' products attracting new customers. Some businesses seek to...
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Page 3: Research

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Research is at the heart of Syngenta”s activities and enables it to discover new products with outstanding performance in the field. Syngenta”s scientists carry out research to identify active ingredients that: are effective are specific to solving crop-related problems have a novel mode of action i.e. how the chemical works are safe. Syngenta's research process is like a...
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Page 4: Development

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Development involves turning research into useful products. Product specification For a chemical to progress from the research phase into development it must meet specified criteria. Most importantly, will the resulting product meet customer requirements? Other criteria might include: can the product be manufactured in large quantities and profitably? How long is the product life cycle...
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Page 5: Challenges and benefits of R&D

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Challenges R&D plays a huge role in Syngenta's business growth. However, there are a number of challenges involved in any research and development activity: High costs - Syngenta spent $1 billion on R&D in 2009. Long timescales - it typically takes Syngenta ten years to bring a new product to market. Uncertain outcomes - there are always uncertainties about whether the product will...
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Page 6: Conclusion

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The business environment and customers' needs are constantly changing. Science-based organisations in particular need to invest in research and development to help them respond to these changes. Although this is a costly and time-consuming process, R&D can result in the development of innovative new products and services. This in turn can lead to greater profits and enhanced...
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