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USDA Agency Gives Awards for Moving Research to MarketBy Ben Hardin
December 5, 1996
WASHINGTON, Dec. 5--Simply inventing something new wasn't enough for a Maryland-based scientist who developed an alternative to drug treatment for a costly poultry disease, and two scientists at Peoria, Ill., who combined starch, oil and water to make a gel with versatile food and industrial potential. These researchers went "the extra mile" to attract industry interest in their inventions, helping move their discoveries from the drawing board to the marketplace.
The scientists will be rewarded Dec. 11 with technology transfer awards from their employer, the Agricultural Research Service, chief research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. An awards ceremony is scheduled at the agency's Beltsville, Md., research center.
The Agricultural Research Service's annual technology transfer awards "are a venue to reward research that begins in the laboratory and ends with farmers, industry and consumers," said Edward B. Knipling, acting ARS administrator. Knipling will present the awards.
A gold plaque will go to microbiologist Harry D. Danforth, who is working with industry to develop a gel vaccine to control the poultry disease coccidiosis, estimated to cost U.S. poultry growers $600 million annually in medication costs and lost production. Danforth works at the ARS Parasite Biology and Epidemiology Laboratory at Beltsville.
Procedures for dispensing the vaccine are now being field tested. Danforth is cooperating with commercial companies through ten Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA's), Trust Agreements or Memorandums of Understanding.
Chemists Kenneth Eskins and George F. Fanta also will receive gold plaques for transferring to industry the process for making Fantesk, a stable blend of starch, water and vegetable oils or other fat-like materials. The scientists have working arrangements with at least eight companies exploring potential applications of Fantesk including its use in low-fat foods, cosmetics, adhesives, seed coatings and pharmaceuticals. Fanta and Eskins work at the research agency's National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research at Peoria, Ill.
One individual and five groups of researchers will receive silver plaques
at the Dec. 11 awards ceremony for their achievements in transferring
technology from the lab to industry. They are:
Contact: Edward B. Knipling, Acting ARS Administrator, Washington, DC. Telephone: (202) 720-3656.