The Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP) program catalyzes innovation, generates new ideas and supports collaborative partnerships while directing research and technology transfer opportunities that add value to Minnesota’s agricultural products or improve efficiencies in their processing.

Work and research done as part of the AIP program will focus its energy in four areas, including:

  • Biobased Products: Exploring the development and use of renewable materials in plastics, films, building materials, lubricants, sealants and more.
  • Coproducts: Creating new uses and revenue streams from processing side-streams, byproducts or agricultural residues.
  • Food: Assisting businesses and entrepreneurs to develop and commercialize new and safe food products utilizing Minnesota agricultural products.
  • Renewable Energy: Expanding the production of renewable energy from agricultural products for fuels, heat and electricity.

Deliverables from the program will include applied research studies and guides or tools to further the utilization and value of commodities and agricultural products. The applied research must answer specific, practical questions, or explore ideas and technologies having practical business applications. Guides or tools include research findings formatted and organized as resources for easy use by entrepreneurs and businesses.

AURI will consider proposals spanning the value-added agricultural sector, however proposals in these specific areas are of particular interest:

  1. A food packaging guide describing attributes of food protection, aggregation and branding.
  2. The development of value-added agricultural processing to better serve the region’s minority and ethnic communities and associations.
  3. Examine the current state of processing of Minnesota’s smaller commodities and specialty crops sectors.
  4. The value chain challenges and opportunities facing indoor agriculture.
  5. Opportunity to expand the market for dairy products in e-commerce.
  6. Survey of opportunities in dairy and plant protein blends.
  7. Enhanced value-added opportunities for the meat industry.
  8. Catalyze local B2B ingredient sourcing.
  9. Pharmaceutical and nutraceutical opportunities for MN commodities and coproducts.
  10. Biobased industrial opportunities.

Information generated through the AIP program is public domain and shared to help entrepreneurs, businesses and agricultural processors explore opportunities and technologies in the areas of biobased products, food, renewable energy and coproducts.

Proposals will be accepted in the spring of 2019. Stay tuned for the Request for Proposal Announcement in our e-newsletter. For complete program criteria and information on how to submit a proposal, click here to download a copy of the AIP program guidelines. For further information, contact AURI Senior Director of Innovation & Commercialization, Jennifer Wagner-Lahr at jwagner@auri.org.