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Mars, Incorporated Calls For Cross-sector Collaboration To Tackle Global Resource Issues At Nobel Laureate Forum

LINDAU, Germany, July 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Speaking at a panel held during the 63rd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Germany and hosted by Mars, Incorporated, Nobel Laureate and former US Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, and Chief Agricultural Officer at Mars, Howard-Yana Shapiro, urged an audience of 150 of the world's brightest young researchers to seek multidisciplinary, cross-sector scientific collaborations in order to tackle interrelated and global resource issues, from climate change to nutrition security.

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Steven Chu, Physics Nobel Laureate and Stanford University Professor, spoke directly to the young researchers: "We will continue to face interconnected challenges involving energy, agriculture and water that we have a moral obligation to confront. Scientific collaboration - and the determination of people like you - will play a key role in addressing that."

Howard-Yana Shapiro spoke about Mars, Incorporated's involvement in the African Orphan Crops Consortium (AOCC), a cross-sector collaboration that aims to sequence, assemble and annotate the genomes of 100 traditional African food crops to improve their nutritional value, productivity and climatic adaptability. The data gathered by the AOCC will be made publically available with the endorsement of the African Union.

"As one of the world's leading food manufacturers, Mars has a critical interest and role to play in the sustainable management of our global resources," said Howard-Yana Shapiro, Chief Agricultural Officer at Mars, Incorporated and Senior Fellow, UC Davis Plant Science Department. "Partnerships that bring together varied expertise are the best way to address the global issues facing us as a business, and society as a whole. That's why initiatives like the African Orphan Crops Consortium - that form uncommon collaborations across sectors and share pre-competitive data - are so important."

The panel was moderated by Adam Smith, Editorial Director of Nobel Media, and also featured the views of Christina Heroven, a Biochemistry Masters student from the Freie Universitat Berlin. Speaking after the panel discussion, Christina Heroven commented: "It was great to be part of such a dynamic discussion, this panel - and the Lindau meeting more broadly - show the importance of dialogue and collaboration in science."

This annual panel discussion and informal Q&A session, supported by Mars, Incorporated, serves as a platform for the exchange of new ideas and perspectives across the spectrum of scientific disciplines represented at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting.  

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