Aventis CropScience, a subsidiary of Franco-German biotech giant Aventis, and Dutch cooperative AVEBE have launched a joint venture to conduct research into the commercial uses of GM potato starch.

The venture, which will be called Solavista, will be based in east Germany on a site where Aventis CropScience has already been researching potatoes.

Aventis CropScience spokesman Gerhard Waitz told Reuters: "We have carried out a lot of fundamental research […] And we have made some interesting products […] The aim now is to further develop these things to find commercial uses in industry and later also uses in food in cooperation with our partner, which has great experience in the potato starch sector."

A diverse range of industries rely heavily on potato starch; not only food processors but also paper producers, and textiles and glue manufacturers. It is also used by the dairy industry as a thickener for sources and yoghurts.