New foundation will facilitate USDA, private sector research partnerships

Published on: Apr 4, 2013

Nine technology-based economic development organizations from across the U.S. have joined forces to form the Agricultural Technology Innovation Partnership (ATIP) Foundation, which will facilitate public-private research and technology licensing partnerships and promote commercialization of U.S. Department of Agriculture research outcomes from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and other scientific agencies, according to an announcement.

The ATIP Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity with offices in Arlington, Texas, and member offices in eight states. It is governed by members comprised of its founding economic development organizations: the Maryland Technology Development Corp., Innovate Mississippi, the Wisconsin Security Research Consortium, the Georgia Research Alliance, Pennsylvania's Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority, the California Association for Local Economic Development, the Kansas Bioscience Authority, the Center for Innovation at Arlington, Texas, and the Center for Innovative Food Technology in Toledo, Ohio. Each member of the foundation also has a separate partnership intermediary agreement with ARS.

The ATIP Foundation will receive USDA requests to develop public-private consortia around specific initiatives of high national priority. The first of these focuses on land management practices to sustain soil health for producing food, feed, fiber and biofuels, the announcement said. A second initiative is in food and public health that addresses issues in translating nutrition research results to the food supply to combat obesity.

The foundation will assist in the formation of collaborative partnerships enabling the integration of venture capital with government, industry and academic research and development.

Similarly, the ATIP Foundation will approach USDA with private sector research needs to seek the expertise of USDA's science and technology agencies.

In January, the ATIP Foundation's members appointed Dr. Richard Brenner as director. Brenner's role is to coordinate activities of the member organizations in planning regional events to deliver solutions to the agricultural sector, and to develop outreach strategies to facilitate partnerships with the private sector.

More information on the ATIP Foundation and its members is available at www.atipfoundation.com.