The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) signed an agreement today with the Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) to help commercialize ARS-developed technologies and promote research opportunities with businesses and universities in the Midwest. ARS is the chief intramural scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The Partnership Intermediary Agreement was signed by Richard J. Brenner, ARS assistant administrator for technology transfer, and CIFT President and CEO David Beck during a ceremony at the organization's headquarters in Toledo, Ohio.
"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."
CIFT is the first associate member of the ARS Agricultural Technology Innovation Partnership (ATIP) program. The ATIP program is comprised of local, state and regional economic development organizations and is designed to create and enhance opportunities for partnerships between businesses and ARS.
A part of the Thomas Edison Centers of Ohio, CIFT has a strong interest in local and regional agriculture that supports urban populations, such as aquaculture, hydroponics and aquaponics. As an ATIP Associate, the organization will work with ARS and the Wisconsin Security Research Consortium to develop projects on urban aquaculture in Toledo, Milwaukee and other Midwestern cities.
The ATIP program is managed by the ARS Office of Technology Transfer, which helps move ARS research discoveries from the laboratory to the marketplace. The overarching goal of the ATIP program is to increase adoption of these research discoveries by private sector firms through licensing of ARS technologies and establishment of cooperative research and development agreements.
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 at: http://www.ars.usda.gov/Business/Business.htm.