CIFT partners with USDA-ARS to foster research and business in Midwest

CIFT Signs Landmark Agreement with USDA-ARS

The Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) signed a historic agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS), establishing CIFT as one of only ten members of the USDA-ARS Agricultural Technology Innovation Partnership (ATIP) program.  An official signing ceremony of the Partnership Intermediary Agreement (PIA) was held in Toledo on Aug. 16, 2010.

USDA_ARS_CIFT_signingThe PIA was signed by Richard J. Brenner, ARS assistant administrator for technology transfer, and CIFT president and CEO David Beck.

"This agreement will foster opportunities for businesses, communities and universities in the Midwest to collaborate with ARS scientists who are conducting world-class research at more than 100 locations nationwide," Brenner said.  "By partnering with organizations like CIFT, we are developing efficient networks that will extend the reach and impact of ARS innovations that will ultimately benefit consumers."

"This agreement is an exciting milestone for CIFT," Beck said.  "We are part of a select few who are joining forces with ARS to provide the many organizations with which we work easy access to the nation's premier agricultural scientists.  This means that many patented technologies will be commercialized by our clients, creating job growth and enhancing our region's economy."

The PIA provides CIFT's customers, members and businesses with easy access to the work and capabilities of more than 2,100 agricultural scientists throughout the nation – which in turn can greatly enhance economic development and global competitiveness.

This access provides significant, tangible benefits in two areas:
•    CIFT's status as an ATIP Associate creates connections between CIFT and hundreds of patented technologies in food processing, biobased materials and products, advanced growing techniques, agricultural chemicals and supplements, and many others.  There are currently hundreds of technologies that have been developed and patented by ARS scientists which are available for licensing.
•    Another equally significant benefit will be realized by the large number of technology-based companies and research organizations with whom CIFT interacts, enabling these groups to become aware of technologies which are being developed at ARS labs that may be of interest to them.  This involves CIFT client organizations in cooperative research efforts with ARS, leading to both a strengthening of the USDA programs, and the development of more technology-focused economic opportunities.

In addition to these immediate benefits, this arrangement connects CIFT to some of the leading technology-based economic development groups in the country. 

ATIP_Network3Each partner will work primarily with ARS laboratories located in their respective regions of the country, but will have access to scientists and technologies throughout the network, as well as to commercialization partners throughout the nation.  CIFT will work initially with scientists located within the eight-state region of the ARS Midwest Area.

The members in the national ATIP network are:
•    Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority (PA)
•    Innovate Mississippi
•    Kansas Bioscience Authority
•    California Association for Local Economic Development
•    Wisconsin Security Research Consortium
•    Maryland Technology Development Corporation
•    Georgia Research Alliance
•    CIFT

As part of its agreement, CIFT will sponsor technology showcases throughout Ohio, and will identify research and commercialization partners within its network of companies and organizations.  CIFT will identify project opportunities in the areas of functional foods and ingredients, biobased products, biofuels, and sustainable agriculture.  The sustainable agriculture area will include local and regional food production, where CIFT will work with ARS to develop programs of mutual interest to provide support in this relatively new area.

ARS is a leader in the federal government in transferring and marketing new technologies developed from its research, and has formed numerous partnerships using cooperative agreements.  More information about opportunities for licensing ARS technologies is available on the ARS-OTT website.

If you are interested in learning more about future technologies and ways in which your business/organization can partner, CIFT will be happy to connect you with scientists from the ARS.  Please visit our Contact page and let us know.

U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Partnering

ARS continually looks for opportunities to partner with businesses, other federal agencies, state and local governments, and universities.  These partnerships are designed to augment research programs, expedite research results to the private sector, exchange information and knowledge, stimulate new business and economic development, enhance U.S. trade, preserve the environment, and improve the quality of life for all Americans.  The overarching purpose of this activity is to develop and transfer technologies to the private sector.  ARS can partner with the above parties in three ways, Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA), Research partnerships, and licensing.  Learn more about partnering by clicking here.