BEIJING, CHINA — Origin Agritech Ltd., a Chinese agricultural technology company, said it has initiated cooperation programs with other seed suppliers in China as part of a broad effort to integrate the company’s GMO traits with the seed varieties of other suppliers.

“This is a significant step forward for the commercialization of our GMO technologies,” said James Chen, PhD, chief executive officer of Origin. “As more and more corn seed suppliers are realizing the value of GMO technology, they start to work with us in order to get ready to license our GMO technologies.”

Commercialization of corn seed GMO technologies is an important issue in China. Two years ago, China’s government set a target to commercialize corn seed GMO technologies by 2020. The target was publicized in the government’s “Thirteenth Five Year State Science and Technology Innovative Plan” that was released in 2016.

Origin said the Chinese government has helped pave the way for full commercialization of the corn seed GMO technology by cracking down on illegal GMO seeds from several high-profile corn seed providers.

According to Origin, corn seed GMO technology could have a market value in excess of several billion dollars in China.

Origin’s phytase corn was the first transgenic corn to receive the Bio-Safety Certificate from China’s Ministry of Agriculture. Since its founding in 1997, the company has established a biotechnology seed pipeline that includes products with glyphosate tolerance and pest resistance traits.