BASF announced Thursday that it will eliminate 350 positions in its Plant Science division, which has its worldwide headquarters in Research Triangle Park.
The company said 180 research and development positions would be eliminated in Europe and 140 similar positions in North America. That represents half of the company’s global plant R&D workforce.
A BASF spokeswoman said about 100 jobs will be eliminated in RTP, where the company employs about 1,000 workers.
The company’s research and field sites in RTP, Iowa, Germany, Belgium and Brazil will all remain open but will be reduced in size. Sites in India and Puerto Rico will be closed.
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The restructuring is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
BASF, which is based in Germany, has been a fixture in the Triangle since 1986. In 2012, BASF decided to shift the worldwide Plant Science headquarters from Germany to RTP, in part because of Europe’s hostility toward genetically modified crops.
BASF said going forward its plant research will focus on “high potential projects in herbicide tolerance and fungal resistant soybean. The project on polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids in canola seeds will also be continued. The yield and stress collaboration agreement regarding corn and soybean with Monsanto is not affected. Discovery and early development projects in yield and stress, including corn and soybean will be streamlined, rice yield as well as corn fungal resistance projects will be discontinued.”