We currently have nearly 5,000 users, across 162 countries, benefiting from free use of our software. In 2010 we are extending our reach in Asia by instigating ‘GenStat Centres of Excellence’ in countries where awareness of our software is low, such as: Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Korea, Cambodia and Laos.
These countries have a heavy reliance on agriculture to sustain both their economic and social success. The combined pressures of food scarcity, population growth, land-grabbing, climate and environmental changes and lack of funds will mean that, without support, they may fail. Scientific research will play a big part in helping these countries, as will access to high quality analysis tools, software and knowledge transfer.
True to our collegiate approach we identify and nurture relationships with universities, research stations and other institutions to introduce GenStat – first into their organisation and, with our support, training and commercial expertise, extend the reach to the wider agricultural sector in that country.
Our aim is to help and improve research techniques, analysis and crucially, improve the awareness of the research that is happening in these countries. An important point to note here is that researchers based in organisations in the developing world, because of lack of funds, will often use free software tools that are not a good fit for purpose or worse, pirate software. In the latter instance it is impossible to get research papers published when pirate software has been used for the analysis. There is a lot of good research undertaken in the developing world, but much of it isn’t published (thus limiting knowledge transfer) because of this very issue. GenStat Discovery solves this problem. They will also raise awareness of their own research and in that way attract more funding from donors.
Why are we doing this? The answer is a simple one. As an organisation we are not driven by the sole pursuit of profit; sounds altruistic – but is in fact true. Unlike other organisations, we believe that by creating long-term relationships from the ground up, and creating strong networks, we will achieve our commercial objectives – but not at the expense of the developing world.