In early 2014, AURI released Agbioscience as a Development Driver: Minnesota Agbioscience Strategy, a report by the world-renowned Battelle Technology Partnership Practice, which showed that Minnesota’s economic future may well be rooted in its historic leadership in agriculture. The state’s agbioscience industry has multi-billion dollar potential, benefits both rural and urban areas and could make Minnesota a global leader in an area critical to our future: food.
Implementing the strategy recommended by Battelle is the key to separating this report from similar studies that have been done before and ensuring that Minnesota sees robust economic growth as a result. Several businesses, government agencies and non-governmental organizations have begun to work on an agbioscience strategy that:
• increases public-private partnerships,
• builds a strong agbioscience cluster to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship,
• aligns open innovation efforts among businesses and organizations, and
• grows investment in research that leads to commercialization. AURI and many partners have been working diligently on the implementation of this plan for the last year.
Some pieces of progress include:
•An analysis of the economic impact of agbioscience—and its future potential—was sponsored by AURI and the Minnesota Initiative Foundations. The study, done by the University of Minnesota Extension’s Community Economics team, was recently completed and is being shared first with the initiative foundations and will then be made publically available.
•The Regional Economic Development Group will hear a presentation of the report’s findings and discuss its potential at its spring meeting.
•Several scientific and technical studies by AURI and its partners— including the University of Minnesota, Research & Promotion Councils and others—are underway to help commercialize various agbioscience opportunities in the marketplace.
•AURI is working on open innovation—helping to bring the innovations of entrepreneurs to the attention of larger businesses that may be interested and available to help commercialize these ideas on a large scale.