Established by an act of Congress in 1938, the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR) invents new uses of agricultural commodities for industrial and food products, develops new technology to improve environmental quality and provides technical support to Federal regulatory and action agencies.
The development of a method to mass produce penicillin and other early scientific accomplishments set a standard of research excellence at NCAUR, generating global and enduring impact and consistently bringing credit to the USDA and its Agricultural Research Service. The growth of soybeans from a small forage/rotation crop to the second largest and second most valuable row crop in the U.S. is at once the vivid demonstration of a utilization research mission fulfilled and the promise of future success.
NCAUR’s 36 current research (CRIS) projects are mission-driven, reflecting the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s National Research Programs. More than 250 research personnel from nearly a dozen scientific disciplines are divided into nine teams. Their charge is to use basic and applied science techniques to create ideas, knowledge and solutions for high priority national research problems.
These scientists contribute significantly to the creation and sharing of new knowledge, as evidenced through an average of 190 peer reviewed journal publications submitted per year, frequent invitations to present findings at national and international meetings, and continued issuance of patents and licensed technology. Technology transfer is facilitated through numerous collaborations with universities, private industry, trade associations and other government agencies.
With approximately 270,000 sq. ft., NCAUR is the largest of the USDA-ARS research centers. The world renowned ARS Microbial Culture Collection is maintained at this facility. Extensive renovation, state-of-the-art instrumentation, and a modular pilot plant to facilitate commercialization ensure that NCAUR’s researchers are provided with the necessary resources to fulfill the mission with which they have been charged.
NCAUR’s historic standard of research excellence is now carried forward by its third generation of scientists in an environment where international recognition, research quality and public benefit are the norm.
Truly, NCAUR is a world-class research facility where the future is being created.