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Research Partnerships with universities: Vilmorin-Mikado cultivates innovation

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As a Franco-Japanese seed company and a key player in plant breeding, Vilmorin-Mikado has forged research partnerships with universities all over the world. Why? To develop innovative plant breeding solutions, and at the same time pass on its expertise to the researchers of the future.


Assessing the resistance of baby greens to mildew, in partnership with Cal Poly

Vilmorin-Mikado is conducting a research project in collaboration with California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) in the United States. 

Since 2022, Dr. Shunping Ding and her students have been carrying out screening tests for mildew (a particularly virulent pest affecting lettuces and brassicas) to assess the resistance of varieties bred by Vilmorin-Mikado USA.

According to Kyle Brasier, head of research operations for our US subsidiary and leader of this project: "The development and cultivation of mildew-resistant varieties will not only reduce dependence on fungicides in agricultural production, but will also support growth of the organic baby greens market.”

Training tomorrow's researchers: Master’s in Computational Color and Spectral Imaging (COSI)

In addition to advancing research, Vilmorin-Mikado passes on its expertise to students.

"As a partner, we enable them to develop their skills through school projects and internship opportunities," explains Cindy Torres, Artificial Vision Project Manager.

We've been supporting the COSI European exchange program since 2016. This Master's-level program is the product of collaboration between four European universities: 

  • The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Gjovik, Norway
  • The University of Granada, Spain
  • Jean Monnet University in Saint-Etienne, France
  • University of Eastern Finland (UEF) (Joensuu campus)

Since January 2018, we have been the program’s "industrial partners", alongside such major brands as Meta, Huawei and HP. 
In this context, we: 

  • Bring in our experts to raise awareness of opportunities in the agricultural sector, such as satellite imagery.
  • Participate in the selection of courses taught and offer courses on artificial intelligence (machine learning* and deep learning**).
  • Present students with topics for study projects, which they then try to solve and defend the resulting dissertation at a defense.

*machine learning : machines learn from other data and are supervised by the programmer

**deep learning : a sub-domain of machine learning, where the machines learn from a very large amount of data and are able to determine the automatic rules to be applied e.g. automatic malfunction detection.

To find out more about our commitment to research, visit our research & development page.