GrassRoots Biotechnology is an agricultural biotechnology that was spun out of Duke University in May, 2007. The company was co-founded by Dr. Philip Benfey and Doug Eisner to commercialize technologies and expertise developed by Dr. Philip Benfey in his lab at Duke. Research operations commenced in July 2008 upon the award of a National Science Foundation Phase I SBIR grant entitled Constitutive Promoters for Crop Improvement with Dr. Tedd Elich as the Principal Investigator.
In January, 2009, GrassRoots’ entered into a Technology Alliance and License Agreement with Monsanto. The alliance is focused on discovery of gene promoters and trait genes for agricultural crops. Monsanto has recently exercised its option to extend the original three-year agreement for two additional years. The two-year extension will expire on January 31, 2014.
GrassRoots currently operates out of its state-of-the-art research facilities in downtown Durham with a satellite lab, dedicated to root phenotyping, in Research Triangle Park.