The Rallis Innovation Chemistry Hub (RICH) is a critical component of Rallis' innovation thrust and strategy. RICH is a multi-storied state-of-the-art laboratory spread across a sprawling area of 30,000 square feet at Peenya Industrial Area, Bengaluru, Karnataka state, India. RICH boasts of qualified scientists who use the laboratory's ultra-modern facilities to conduct intensive research into various aspects of agriculture, especially crop care. The facility is recognised by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) under the Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India.
RICH's expertise has been instrumental in Rallis introducing many new molecules, generic molecules, new formulations, pre-mixtures, etc., over the years. The facility is a critical component of Rallis' contract manufacturing capabilities. There are many vital aspects of RICH's functioning.
Through RICH, we are developing premix formulations to develop innovative products. We are extensively working on novel recipe development of new formulation types viz., Oil Dispersion (OD), Capsule Suspension (CS), Suspo-emulsions (SE), Nano-emulsions and ZC to improve the bio-efficacy of the products. Most of our new formulations contain water and other environmentally-friendly solvents as a medium, food-grade dye/pigments and other safe ingredients that lead to sustainable products.
RICH also works closely with strategic alliance partners and customer groups to develop innovative products. In the past, it has developed a few innovative solutions based on FGD (Focussed Group Discussions) with farmer groups and collectives:
Rallis adopts a rigorous stage-gate process of product development and regulatory function to generate data, liaise with stakeholders, and obtain the requisite registrations for its markets. Some critical components of its product development initiative are:
i) Maintenance of crucial crop pests, fungal pathogens, nematodes and weeds under laboratory conditions for quick bio-efficacy evaluation of new products
ii) Monitoring of insect and disease-resistance levels of critical products and identifying the effective solution
iii) Testing of seed-treatment products
iv) Testing of products for their dose-optimisation under different agro-climatic conditions
v) Generation of field efficacy studies in association with State Agriculture Universities/ICAR institutes under regulatory requirements for new registrations and supporting package-of-practices (PoPs)
vi) Technical support to farmers, channel partners, sales and marketing teams and various government bodies.
vii) New technology collaborations for opportunity evaluation
RICH provides analytical support for quality control (QC) to Rallis' domestic product development teams, Indian manufacturing units, and international product registrations. Its sophisticated facilities ensure maintenance of the quality of Rallis' products. RICH's QC laboratory is approved by ISO 17025:2017 standard (also known as National Accreditation Board for Testing & Calibration Laboratories). RICH deploys digital technology in the form of a ‘Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS)' to manage data.
RICH's process chemistry team specialises in:
i) Process development for new agrochemicals, off-patented molecules and chemical intermediates
ii) Process improvements for existing molecules to obtain cost benefits
iii) Developing processes for contract manufacturing projects
iv) Process development for products with external parties and CSIR institutes
v) Support technology transfer in troubleshooting during the establishment of newly-developed processes for eventual manufacturing success.
Crop nutrition research at RICH aims to develop differentiated and innovative products in the non-subsidised sector of speciality fertilisers encompassing organic fertilisers, bio-fertilisers, micronutrients, water-soluble fertilisers, bio-stimulants, phytohormones and bio-pesticides. These speciality fertilisers can enhance yields, improve crop quality and soil health, increase fertiliser use efficiency, and combat biotic and abiotic stress, leading to sustainable farming and higher farm income.
RICH's pioneering research in developing crop and stage-specific customised water-soluble fertiliser formulations for foliar and fertigation is a first for the Indian agro-sciences industry. It has led to the successful commercialisation of several successful products. Our innovative micronutrient formulations have significantly improved the use efficiency and helped farmers realise better quality yields. Our crop nutrition product range aims to deliver balanced and integrated nutrient management and holistic solutions to growers. Our product development strategy is based on a robust process addressing each product's technical, statutory, environmental, and financial aspects.
The dedicated team in RICH manages and protects Rallis' intellectual property rights. The team conducts prior art searches and examines the patent landscape to help the marketing and the R&D team to identify windows of opportunity in the market. It also files the necessary patent applications and obtains the patent grants.
RICH leads the way to enable Rallis to obtain country-level statutory approvals. Its efforts have resulted in Rallis acquiring over 200 product registrations worldwide. RICH has played a vital role in Rallis' products meeting even the most stringent regulatory and environmental standards. RICH has provided us with the competence and expertise to generate country-specific regulatory data. It has also allowed us to implement product stewardship programmes mandated by regulatory agencies.
Through RICH, we have gone beyond merely obtaining statutory approvals. Today, our products exhibit attributes beyond the mandate resulting in many agricultural authorities worldwide certifying them as the best in the designated regions. Our attitude towards obtaining approvals has motivated us to develop products to meet future stipulations.
The process of technology transfer serves as the bridge between R&D and manufacturing. Using technical engineering competencies, process optimisation, and process safety studies, RICH evaluates and screens the proposed technologies and processes for scale-up to facilitate the commercial launch of the products.