The seed testing team of the R&D department of seed company Caussade Semences wanted to improve the reliability and efficiency of their data collection. Technicians were using Excel and paper sheets, and project managers were spending a lot of time to prepare it for every notation campaign. There was a high risk of errors as well. They believed that using ruggedized tablets with a software that combines field map and collect form could help to standardize the notations, but it seemed complex. They wondered which software would fit most of their needs, how to configure the application to their Breeding and Testing methods, and how to convince end users of the benefits to evolve their scoring methods.
What is R2n?
R2n is the subsidiary of the RAGT group that is focused on seed research. Its breeding research is involved in the large plant culture domains such as corn, grains, fodder and sunflowers. In 2003, R2n acquired the European Monsato grain research program.
In 2001 R2n chose RnDExp™ ,
In September 2001, R2n chose RnDExp™ as comprehensive data-management software for all of its breeding programs.
Working in close collaboration with the Research Information Systems Service, the system integration was entrusted to the DORIANE team. The project was spread out over a three-year period beginning with forage products and ending with corn.
RnDExp™ is used by more than 100 Researchers in 10 different Research Centers throughout Europe.
En 2007, after having bought the cereal activity of Monsanto (PBI), RAGT–R2n wanted to integrate this new activity in RnDExp™ in order to harmonize and standardize IT tools and breeding methods available for each group of vegetal specie. From 2008, sowings, nurseries, testing on cereals is managed with RnDExp™ .
En juillet 2008,
RnDExp™ was deployed in english in the different countries to homogenate the company way of working. The equipement of laboratories in France, Tchec Republic and United Kingdom with RnDExp™ for Analytical activities and Biotech laboratories allow users to make request Genotype/Phenotype on a centralized and unified database.
Now RnDExp™ is used for every specie distributed by R2n and by users with very different levels of responsability in about 13 stations on 5 countries
R2n Organization to complete the installation project
A two-person team was sent to work full-time on the project.
The project advanced through several steps consisting of layout, design, testing, parameter recalculation, and launch assistance. The testing and instructional phases of the project are crucial steps for the reliability and the seamless incorporation of the newly integrated system.
R2n chose to use a two-tiered system architecture with a server group for the SQL database on a Microsoft platform, and using a Citrix platform for its remote access servers.
Thierry Bouhet (IT Manager of RAGT-R2n) reaction : "RAGT choose RnDExp™ to help its researchers to be at the state of art in the collect, the control and the reporting of information useful for their missions.
The software constant evolutions, in terms of performance, ergonomy, flexibility for the breeding processes modelling is a warranty of perennity very important for us"
What were the determining factors that made you choose RnDExp™ ?
In 2000, we were confronted with the situation that our system, which ran on MSDOS, needed to be updated.
After abandoning the idea of coming up with an internal solution, we starting looking for an external solution that could respond to our needs for dependability, durability, compatibility, and with sufficient forward visibility that could integrate all of our different areas. Already a DORIANE client through their RnDExpMobile™ product, and after several in-depth discussions with Frederic Royer, we naturally migrated towards RnDExp™ .
How did you handle the RnDExp™ integration into your business?
We knew that there was no way that we could interrupt our research, so we decided to spread the project deployment out over three different campaigns according to plant species. R2n ran the project under the responsibility of DORIANE.
The fact that the DORIANE consultants, under the management of Frederic ROYER, already knew our field of work, allowed for a quick analysis of the breeding operations and showed that the experiment concepts and the gene stocking tools of RnDExp™ especially suited our needs. Very few specific adjustments needed to be made. We were surprised by the capacity of RnDExp™ to respond to the needs of different species, whether they are generic or hybrid. In particular the integration of the grasses for forage and lawns was a real challenge.
Didn’t spreading the project over three campaigns bring with it additional costs?
It is true that we already had this type of problem with the implementation of an ERP. The key to success is to keep everything in project mode from the beginning. As such, the parameters, delays and costs are laid-out in advance along with the project phases. The DORIANE team managed to adapt easily to this approach and, as a result, the budgeted delays and costs were respected.
Have you been able to see any return on investment at this point?
The RnDExp™ potentials allowed us to go beyond our initial objectives by equipping projects and labs that were not a part of the initial scope. Additional benefits came out of the newly unified system, allowing for cross-interaction not only when working on different species but also between different labs.
For certain species, once through the difficult migration process, very important benefits were discovered by the system users as it showed efficiency to the degree of several weeks with regards to the statements, experiment set-ups (nurseries, trials, etc.) from the first season.
RnDExp™ represents a long-term investment and several fields are needed to realize the full potential of its many aspects.
In 2008, They chose DORIANE for managing breeding and testing on several species of field crops. Agri Obtention made this choice to find a way to homogenize working methods, the labels, the reports and to centralize the information. Today, Agri-Obtentions want notably to improve some species breeding programs. Less than 3 months after the signature, the configuration was made for their several species and the application was launched.
Louis Forêt (General Director) reaction :
"Doriane has understood quickly, as well as traduced and carried out Agri-Obtention IT needs »
What is SECOBRA Recherches?
Since 1902 SECOBRA, as a breeding company, has been breeding highest quality barley for the malting and brewing industry.
SECOBRA Recherches counts as its principle shareholders the leading players in the malting and brewing industry, seeds companies and industrial farmers.
With its headquarters in Maule, in the Yvelines region of France, SECOBRA also has subsidiaries in Germany (Lemgo), England (Essex) and in Spain (Saragossa).
Of the varieties bred at this site, the most notable are: Winter barley varieties (MOGADOR, FLAMENCO, CLARINE, PASTORAL, ESTEREL, SIBERIA, REGALIA…); Spring barley varieties (VOLGA, NEVADA, ASTORIA…); and the Winter wheat varieties (PARADOR, BASTIDE, ROSARIO and ACIENDA)
Pascal Giraudeau (Wheat breeder - In charge of IT management of Maule research station) attests :
Some of history, why did SECOBRA choose RnDExp™ ?
In 1999 we had to redevelop our entire IT infrastructure to convert it to a DOS system. Of the many different options, only DORIANE responded to our needs.
How did the project play out?
The winter 1999-2000 was spent integrating RnDExp™ for testing and planning for its launch by the harvest of 2000.
The following year we integrated RnDExp™ for breeding that was operational by the harvest of 2001.
We came up against difficulties that were due to the newness of the product, due in large part because we were one of the first to use the new Windows version. Thankfully the DORIANE team was helpful and we were also able to help ourselves through a good part of understanding the systems parameters. Eventually all of our objectives were met.
Today the system is solid.
Did DORIANE’s Technical Support Team meet your needs?
In both the technical and functional sense, the DORIANE team is qualified. Last year we decided to change our database management system. We decided to abandon our SYBASE system for the SQL server system recommended by DORIANE, as it would be less cumbersome. This was a rather delicate operation that was completed by the DORIANE team with great success.
With the passage of time how would you say RnDExp™ has met your needs?
Very well, whether in experiments or in breeding, everything is done through RnDExp™ !
Of course, there are a few adjustments that need to be incorporated; for example I would like a little more flexibility when building the reports that I prefer manage through RnDExp™ .
In RnDExp™ reports are better stored than in Excel and are accessible from any workstation.
Who uses RnDExp™ ?
There are 2 of us Breeders who are in charge of RnDExp™ . We designate the protocols and outline the experiments. In addition seven Lab Tech and a few seasonal employees also use it. We are a small team that has to manage 20,000 experimental plots and 250,000 breeding lines. Also, I think that it is very important for the Breeder who came up with the experiments to be able to organize them in RnDExp™ .
What do you think is the best kind of training for the system?
For current users, on-site training using mock-trials with realistic data seems to be the most suitable to me. This allows for people to clearly understand the functioning of the system within the breeding program. For the administrators, outside of the initial on-site training, that must be very thorough, a brush-up every 2-3 years at a workshop should be sufficient.
What is UNISIGMA?
A combined research center for the ADVANTA, Océal and IN VIVO groups, UNISIGMA is specialized in plant breeding for small grain cereals and combining peas.
UNISIGMA’s breeds include: Wheat, SPONSOR, BALTIMOR, PYTAGOR and most recently DINOSOR; Spring barley, SCARLETT and SEBASTIAN; and the Winter barley, VANESSA.
On the 5 Research sites under the management of Philippe Lerebour,
Former versions of RnDExp™ for testing and RnDExpMobile™ have been used at 8 individual lab stations and with 3 Itronix handheld computers. UNISIGMA has been a DORIANE client since 1987.
Guillaume Roullet is a Breeder and Head of Information Systems and Jean-Baptiste Guignaudeau is in charge of IT for Research Operations.
Jean Baptiste Guignaudeau (In charge if IT for Research operations) testifies :
Why did you choose RnDExp™ ?
We are a small team that means that we have to really focus on our work of experiments, trials and breeding. As such, the DORIANE offer attracted us because it allowed us to work without having to become technical experts or forcing us to hire additional technical experts.
How did you go about using it?
Even if I know the product well, DORIANE was there to make sure the product was working well, updating the functions, etc. And, all of this was done remotely, which saved a lot of time.
Does RnDExp™ respond well to your needs?
“It covers our experimental needs well, particularly when it comes to data analysis and labeling. The import/export tool is very useful. The only things that I am still doing in Excel are interim analyses. Moreover, as far as time efficiency, data access, accessing multiple tables at once, etc, the program is very efficient.”
Guillaume Roullet (Breeder - In charge of the information system of Unisigma) testifies :
Guillaume, you have been at UNISIGMA for 3 years; what are your impressions on adapting to RnDExp™ ?
RnDExp™ is a sophisticated, technical program that is not a very simple tool, but I adapted quite easily to its use.
What are the advantages of RnDExp™ and RnDExpMobile™ ?
Combined, the products allow for a great integration of the different aspects of the projects from the fields to the data analysis in the labs.
From a technical standpoint, we decided to set RnDExp™ up on a dedicated server at each team’s location and to locate the database on the company’s main server platform. This server architecture works very well and RnDExp™ and RnDExpMobile™ are very reliable.
If the program is considered a success, what role did the DORIANE team plan in this success?
We have very good relations with DORIANE, and the team is always readily available. DORIANE communicates well and shows us that they listen well to our needs. I would even say that they anticipate our needs, sometimes with a wealth of relevant options that we don’t expect, something that obviously comes from their experience with other similar clients.
What is LA COOP FEDEREE ?
Founded in 1922, La Coop fédérée is now the largest agricultural company in Eastern Canada. Spanning dozens of individual entities, La Coop fédérée employs over 11,300 people in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta.
La Coop fédérée develops more innovative, better-tested hybrids and new varieties of soybeans, cereals, corn and forage through more responsible agriculture made possible by RnDExp™.
The breeding and testing division of La Coop fédérée in Montreal, Canada, has announced that it has successfully deployed RnDExp™, a software suite for managing experiments in plant biology research departments. RnDExp™ was selected by La Coop fédérée for its proven ability to manage large breeding and experimentation programs.
RnDExp™ Version 3 was put into production in only 5 months. The technical teams at La Coop fédérée and Doriane consultants worked closely together to configure RnDExp™ according to the specific needs of users.
Mr Alexandre Mailloux, Director of Research Department of La Coop fédérée:
"At the end of harvest season, data analysis in RnDExp™ has allowed us to understand the potential efficiency gains over our previous tools."
Mr. Frederic Royer, President of Doriane:
"We are pleased that The Coop fédérée has built its integrated research data management based on RnDExp™. The project has been a success and users have already begun realizing efficiency gains."
What is MOREL-Diffusion ?
MOREL-Diffusion, is the global co-leader in breeding, production and sales of Cyclamen.
En avril 2008, MOREL-Diffusion fait à son tour le choix de DORIANE. To implement RnDExp™-SELECTION, every breeding data were restructured, normalised and became shared.
The historical of each variety was imported in the centralized data base RnDExp™. The genealogy and the traceability of each genotype is now well stored. The Research information is now durable.
Guy Morel (Breeder), Didier Capitani (Computer Scientist) and Héloise Morel (Research assistant) testify :
« We chose RnDExp™ because it was the only software specialized in vegetal improvement in France. We choose the Doriane company for its reliability and the numerous references. The technical team seemed to be competent and well structured. We also selected this solution because of its flexibility which allowed to fit with our company processes.»
Subsidiary of the French cooperative group Maïsadour, created in 1936, Maïsadour Semences is a top European seed provider of corn and oil seeds.
From western Europe to the Ural and Turkey Maisadour Semences invests to make better tested and innovative hybrids for corn, sunflower and canola crops.
Maïsadour Semences, under the responsibility of Alain Taillardat, Director of Research and Grégory Gonzales, R&D IT Manager, has successfully launched Version 3 of the RnDExp™Experimentation and Breeding modules for their 2010 season.
Two projects have been successfully completed in only one year :
Migration of RnDExp™ Experimentation from V2 to V3 and the integration of the breeding module for all species.
The technical teams of Maïsadour Semences worked in close cooperation with Doriane consultants to configure RnDExp™ in accordance with specific users’ needs.
In addition to the Experimentation and Breeding module, the automatisation portion of RnDExp™ permits users to work securely (To do list, triggering of actions on certain dates, validation of results) allowing also a gain in productivity for their teams.
Alain Taillardat – Directeur Recherche – MAISADOUR :
« The performance and ease of transition to the new version really hit the mark. Our own hybrid breeding process has been perfectly modeled in RnDExp™. The cooperation between technical teams and Doriane was very effective, and the project was completed on-time and on-budget.”
Frédéric Royer – President - DORIANE :
“The new concepts of traceability of genetic material, multi-dimensional querying tools and statistics for large hybrid breeding teams have proven their effectiveness in the first year of production use. The various teams of Maïsadour Semences have been very involved and helpful throughout the project.”
What is Cristal Union?
As a first-class sugar producer, Cristal Union has four principle production facilities, one of which is the Arcis sur Aube plant.
Situated in the heart of the most bountiful agricultural production regions in France, the Arcis sur Aube site is the uncontested leader in production volume in the country producing 12.5 tons of white sugar per hectare. An important alcohol distillery and ethanol fuel producer are attached to the site.
A Dynamic Team.
Philippe Clouet is the leader of a very experienced seven-member team. The team performs about 60 trials per season, incorporating about 8,000 plots.
Laurence Pacquetet is the head of IT operations during the experiments. She incorporates and upkeeps both the RnDExp™ and RnDExpMobile™ programs according to the company’s research parameters.
Philippe Clouet (Manager of the Agronomy department) and Laurence Pacquetet (RnDExp™ Administrator) reactions : "The DORIANE team always responded to our needs very quickly and with impeccable sense of service...without which we would not have remained such a faithful client for so long"
You chose RnDExp™ over 10 years ago, has it grown well?
Philippe CLOUET :
Definitely, RnDExp™ has evolved considerably. It is a software program that is secure and reliable. The available functions not only cover our needs, but even well surpass them. So we use it to work on general plant farming, plant breeding, as well as different trials involving plants and manures, and we fully realize that we are only using part of the program’s potential.
Laurence PACQUETET :
We are progressively expanding our uses of RnDExp™ . As such, this year we are replacing our old barcode-labeling system with that made available by RnDExp™ . Overall, you have to congratulate the DORIANE team on their work in making the product very efficient and ergonomic. Also, the ‘cut and paste’ function when working in publishing results has brought a lot of comfort with its ease of use and its similarity to Excel. The Import/Export Data function is a particularly strong function, in fact, I find to be great! With this we can easily exchange findings with our other colleagues, whether they are using RnDExp™ or not. Thanks to RnDExp™ we have greatly improved our ability to communicate with not only others in our field, but with our clients as well.
You have been using RnDExp™ for a long time; have you mastered all of its functions at this point?
Laurence PACQUETET :
I am in charge of outlining new lab protocols, which remains a rather technical exercise, but it is certainly made easier thanks to the facility and depth of the functions on RnDExp™ . I am still learning, of course, since I am able to benefit from the buyers contract !
Philippe CLOUET :
Laurence is able to make sure that her colleague is kept up-to-date; otherwise the Lab Techs received the appropriate training to get their jobs done.
Their market share of cotton seeds is the highest in China. In 2014, one of their super hybrid rice varieties set the world highest yield record.
|Such as DaBeiNong Biotechnology Center and JSNH, Bio-T has chosen Doriane's software and services to organize their research data and processes.|
After the signature of the contracts, the French newspaper Nice-Matin has published an article on this Franco-Chinese cooperation:
Doriane and the N°1 in Cotton
This week was signed a contract between the French company Doriane and the N°1 in Cotton in China, Biocentury Transgene. The agreement includes software licence and know-how transfer. Doriane develops scientific software to manage data and cost-efficiently, in the field of vegetal agronomy. "A great satisfacion" for its CEO Fred Royer. This engineer, former researcher at the INRA institute (National Institute for Agronomy Research), has founded Doriane with his spouse Florence, Doctor in Pharmacy.
More information on Bio-T:
The company has established five centers of biotechnology, germplasm, breeding cottonseed oil, maize breeding, rice breeding, researchers accounted for more than 30% of the total number of employees, the average R & D investment accounted for about 10% of annual sales; built with first-class equipment The establishment of breeding stations in different ecological zones at home and abroad, to play the advantages of biotechnology and conventional breeding techniques combined to engage in cotton, corn, rice, wheat, rape breeding of new varieties. The company has adopted the national, provincial-level self-cultivation of the cultivation of dozens of new varieties of crops, each year there are a large number of signs of the new combination (strains) were to participate in national, provincial and health test.
Companies in the country established a variety of different ecological areas of crops stable, standardized system (fan) species base in Wenxian County, Henan, Xinjiang Korla and Aksu, Changsha and other places to build a modern seed processing plant; the full implementation of ISO 9001: 2008 quality Management system, focusing on seed quality process control, production and processing of seed quality are met or exceeded the national standard.
Company in Hubei, Anhui, Hebei, southern Xinjiang, northern Xinjiang, Henan, Hunan and other places to establish regional marketing, technical service center, marketing, technical service network throughout the country. The market share of cotton seeds is the highest in China. The sales of seeds such as corn, rice, wheat and rapeseed also show a rapid development. The company independent country through breeding and trial of new combinations of super hybrid rice "Y Liangyou 900", October 10, 2014 by the Ministry of Agriculture LEG site production acceptance testing, contiguous acres per acre average yield of 1026.7 kg, Set the world record high yield. The company has a rare cold, tropical hybrid rice germplasm resources, is committed to the cold, tropical hybrid rice breeding research, breeding of new varieties about to enter the commercialization of cold hybrid japonica hybrid rice breeding research technology in the international advanced level.
Gautier Semences is a french, family-owned and independent company. For more than 60 years, they have been specialised in breeding, producing and retailing high quality vegetable seeds for the professional market.
Gautier Semences, cultivates values that result in ever more innovative, efficient and attractive vegetable products.
Ctifl is a non-profit organisation. All experimentation, studies, training and publications are aimed at improving the level of expertise necessary in all sectors of the fruit and vegetable industry, as well as improving company performance.
About DABEI NONG Biotech Center
Founded in 1993, DA BEI NONG Technology Group Co. Ltd. (DBN Group) is a science driven Agricultural Company. DBN Group went public at Shenzhen Stock Exchange on April 9, 2010.
DBN Biotech Center (DBNBC) was established in December 2010. They are committed to develop Agro-biotech products with their own intellectual property rights. Currently, their R&D is focusing on three main crops: corn, rice, and soybean and five traits including insect resistance, herbicide tolerance, yield enhancement, drought tolerance, and fertilizer-usage-efficiency. Combining the complementary strength from DBN Seed, DBN BC is willing to enable the seamlessly transition from early discovery research stage to late product development stage. Their aim is to accelerate the delivery of biotech seeds to Chinese farmers.
77 million dollars are earmarked to invest into DBNBC in five years. Within six-month, they have hired 90 employees, equipped 3,000m2 of laboratory with advanced instruments, constructed 4,000 m2 of greenhouse space. A network of standard field stations will be established to evaluate field performance of DBNBC’s first generation biotech products. In 2012, DBNBC has been be a full-fledged, product development oriented, first-class agricultural R&D entity with 200 researchers led by 20 some experienced experts. DBNBC is devoted to deliver, what Chinese farmers need the most, biotech products to the market in the next 5 to 10 years.
Why did you choose RnDExp™ ?
Zhang He (RnDExp™ Administrator): "I have appreciated a lot the attention paid to my project during commercial discussions. Doriane's team has demonstrated their software RnDExp™ and I found what I was looking for: With RnDExp™ I am able to define and configure easily different protocols, and I can set functions in order to define unique experiments. Also the flexibility of RnDExp™ enables to extend its use, not only for breeding activities, but also for optimizing all data and processes of the whole research department. With experimentation, selection and analysis module, it is not only breeding research management software, but also a general configurable research management system. "
How did you move to RnDExp™?
Zhang He (RnDExp™ Administrator): "Doriane's team understood our implementation needs and fulfilled 90% of our requests. The training they provided has been useful for our further use of RnDExp™. It is actually a transfer of know-how. From the training, we can get the expertise to configure the software for different processes. "
Did the new functions that our development team developed for you meet your needs?
Zhang He (RnDExp™ Administrator): " Yes, before each development, Doriane Editor team has taken time to communicate with us. "
How does RnDExp™help you save time in your research organization and trial setting-up preparation?
Zhang He (RnDExp™ Administrator): The functionalities of RnDExp™ Experimentation are really unique: Data analysis results can be presented in the field map ; Departmental data sharing is very efficient ; The software ergonomy is easy to use and easy to learn ; Powerful report functionalities, and useful data query and advanced data view, helpful for decision making. "
RnDExp™ has been used in which parts of research in your company?
Zhang He (RnDExp™ Administrator): Almost from laboratory to field testing.
How have you organized the administration of RnDExp™ ?
Zhang He (RnDExp™ Administrator): " Two RnDExp™ administrators working on the configuration of RnDExp™ and internal supports, one almost work full time, and the other part time. "
How many departments use RnDExp™ for now?
Zhang He (RnDExp™ Administrator): " Laboratory, germplasm management department, nursery and testing department. "
How do you integrate laboratory to field research activities?
Zhang He (RnDExp™ Administrator): "The materials used in field experiments could be germplasms or transferred plants. If it concerns seeds, we link germplasms to field testing; if it concerns to transferred plants, we make transferred plants in the transformation laboratory, and link the transferred plants stocked in the system to field experiments.
Field testing management function is very powerful in RnDExp™, which involves stock-inventory, experiment design, culture unit and experiment setting in the field, data collection and statistical analysis.
In RnDExp™ for testing, we create a multi-level protocol. In the first level, “linked germplasm stock”, 2nd level “repetition”, and then 3nd level, “row”, and sometimes, when there is observation of each plant, we create 4th level “plants”. "
Which functions of RnDExp™is most useful for your daily work? Which modules you use most often?
Zhang He (RnDExp™ Administrator): " The most useful parts: Experimentation design, material setting, statistical analysis. Modules: Experiments, breeding, Flow, Tools, Statistics ".
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