Officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) signed an agreement on Monday with the Kansas Bioscience Authority (KBA) to help commercialize ARS-developed technologies and foster research-based opportunities to expand economic growth in Kansas and adjacent states.
The five-year Partnership Intermediary Agreement was signed by ARS Administrator Edward B. Knipling and KBA Chairman John Carlin during a ceremony at the organization's annual meeting in Overland Park, Kan.
"Today's agreement will build on a groundswell of bioscience innovation by partnering members of Kansas' entrepreneurial community and higher-education institutions with ARS scientists conducting world-class research at more than 100 locations nationwide," said Knipling. "Partnerships with economic development organizations like KBA are critical to extending both the reach and impact of ARS technology transfer programs, including benefits ultimately enjoyed by consumers."
"We are highly focused on addressing national bioscience challenges, and this exciting partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture will be yet another way for us to advance that goal by ensuring research innovations get into the marketplace," said KBA President Thomas V. Thornton said. "We commend USDA for its leadership in bioscience commercialization, which will help lead our nation's economic recovery."
Under the terms of the agreement, ARS and KBA will work together to increase awareness among Kansas businesses about opportunities for collaborative research, licensing and commercialization of technologies developed in ARS laboratories.
The partnership will include showcasing ARS technologies and research capabilities relevant to five key areas of importance to the KBA and its affiliates: animal health, human health, plant biology, bioenergy and biomaterials.
Established in 2004, the KBA is a $581 million initiative that works to accelerate the growth of bioscience research and industry with financial investments and hands-on business assistance. The KBA is one of 10 economic development partners nationwide chosen to enter into a technology transfer partnership with ARS as part of the Agricultural Technology Innovation Partnership program network.
ARS has similar agreements with the Maryland Technology Development Corporation, the Mississippi Technology Alliance, the Wisconsin Security Research Consortium, the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds, the Georgia Research Alliance, the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority in Pennsylvania, and the Center for Innovation at Arlington, Texas.
The agreement with the Maryland Technology Development Corporation has enabled CrispTek, a Columbia, Md.-based company, to begin commercializaing a gluten-free, rice-flour-based batter developed by ARS that reduces the oil uptake of fried foods. CrispTek was developed to commercialize this technology, which they licensed from ARS in the spring of 2008.
Agreements are pending with the California Association for Local Economic Development and the Center for Innovative Food Technology at Toledo, Ohio.
ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency. The partnership with the Kansas Bioscience Authority was developed under the auspices of ARS's Office of Technology Transfer.
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.