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Partnerships to Harness the Innovations and R&D Capacity of ARS for Technology-Based Economic Development. Richard J. Brenner Assistant Administrator Office of Technology Transfer. Don Nordlund Technology Transfer Coordinator Athens, GA. ARS Mission.

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Partnerships to Harness the Innovations and R&D Capacity of ARS for Technology-Based Economic Development

Richard J. Brenner

Assistant Administrator

Office of Technology Transfer

Don Nordlund

Technology Transfer Coordinator

Athens, GA

GROTTO Workshop

Orlando, FL

February 22, 2010

ars mission
ARS Mission

To conduct research to develop and transfer solutions to agricultural problems of high national priority and provide information access and dissemination to:

  • ensure high-quality, safe food, and other agricultural products
  • assess the nutritional needs of Americans
  • sustain a competitive agricultural economy
  • enhance the natural resource base and the environment, and
  • provide economic opportunities for rural citizens, communities, and society as a whole.
the research capacity of ars 1 1 b intramural
The Research Capacity of ARS($1.1 B intramural)

Line Management of ARS

  • Area Directors of 8 Area Offices; oversee execution & quality of research
  • 2100 scientists & engineers
  • 100+ locations
  • > 1000 research projects
the research capacity of ars
The Research Capacity of ARS

Program Management of ARS

  • Office of National Programs coordinates program direction and allocates resources to research units across the agency
  • 4 broad “pillars” of research
  • 22 national programs
  • > 1000 research projects

Four regional research centers, provide the major portion of ARS's capability for research and development of technology to increase the use of agricultural products and thereby enhance the economic viability and competitiveness of U.S. agriculture.

SRRC – New Orleans, LA

NCAUR (NRRC) – Peoria, IL

ERRC – Wyndmoor, PA

WRRC – Albany, CA

how does industry partner with usda for commercialization r d
How Does Industry Partner with USDA for Commercialization / R&D?
  • Licensing current protected technologies (including plants) to private sector firms for commercial production.
  • Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs)establish research partnerships to solve industry problems consistent with ARS mission and priorities.

Through the Office of Technology Transfer…





Tech Transfer


  • 9 registered patent agents (1 Ph.D, 4 w/ law degrees)
  • Located in Beltsville, MD; Peoria, IL; Albany, CA
  • Targeted marketing (staff of 3)
  • Web subscribe Tech Alerts
  • Partnering opportunities
  • 5 senior licensing specialists (3 J.Ds; 2 MBA)
  • HQ based
  • 8 specialists with life science / ag background (4 Ph.D, 2 J.D.)
  • Distributed across geographic Areas of ARS

Office of Technology Transfer

Centralized in policy and approvals, licensing, marketing; decentralized in negotiation and implementation of CRADAs


Vic Chavez




Renee Wagner – MWA


Don Nordlund – SAA/ MSA


Joe Lipovsky – SRRC Assoc. TTC


David Nicholson – PWA


David.Nicholson (Chris Johnson, Assoc. TTC)

Bryan Kaphammer – NPA / SPA


Thomas Valco

Cotton Tech Tran & Education Coordinator


Office of Technology Transfer

Technology Transfer Coordinators

models for developing and transferring federal technologies to the private sector

Seek Private

Sector Interest

For Commercialization

  • Marketing Section
  • Creates summary
  • Places on OTT website



Models for Developing and Transferring Federal Technologies to the Private Sector

Background Invention

(e.g., developed in USDA)

Federal Register Notice



the federal crada model for developing and transferring technologies to the private sector

Manufacture &


ARS Scientist




Corporation negotiates

license (no FR notice)

Cooperative Research

& Development Agreement



Subject Invention

(developed under CRADA)

The Federal CRADA Model for Developing and Transferring Technologies to the Private Sector


Research Need

cooperative research and development agreement crada
Benefits to Firms:

Access to ARS research capacity

First right to negotiate Exclusive License for Subject Inventions without FR notice

Confidentiality (competitive advantage)

Opportunity to compete in global markets

Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA)
  • Benefits to ARS:
    • Results-Oriented Research/Impact
    • Market information
    • Identification of Licensee
    • Resources (For the Project)
some fy 2009 metrics
Some FY 2009 Metrics
  • Licenses
    • Current active: 301 (316 were active during FY; 129 producing commercial products)
      • Universities – 118 (39%)
      • Non-profits – 17 (6%)
      • Small Businesses – 105 (35%)
      • Foreign businesses (no U.S. presence) – 7 (2%)
      • Large businesses (includes foreign multinationals with major U.S. presence) –54 (18%)
  • CRADAs(2008 metrics)
    • Active 232 (during FY 2008)
      • Small businesses – 127 (62%)
      • Outside state of researcher – 155 (72%)
      • Out of ARS Area of researcher – 129 (60%)
model of a public private partnership for commercialization of research o utcomes









Model of a Public/Private Partnership for Commercialization of Research Outcomes

Complementary Assets

Intellectual Capital

Marketing and Distribution


Technical Expertise—

Product Dev, Scale-up, QC

Manufacturing Capacity

Product Registration


Fiscal Resources

These can be facilitated by Partnership Intermediaries of ARS (TBED entities) & selective use of Enhanced Use Lease linked to mission priorities

Structural Assets

and Financial Resources

Adapted from Sullivan, P.H., Profiting From Intellectual Capital, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 2000.


Goals of Agricultural Technology Innovation Partnership Program

(through PIAs)

To partner with selected economic development entities to enhance the effectiveness of the ARS technology transfer program and to expand its impact

To enhance the flow of ARS technologies to small and expanding businesses and to encourage technology-based economic development

goals of ars partnership intermediaries
Goals of ARS Partnership Intermediaries

Provide complementary assets to ARS Office of Technology Transfer

  • Guide local / regional business with research needs to the appropriate ARS scientist across ARS (CRADA opportunities)
  • Triage business plans of private sector to seek “winners” as candidates for licensing / research partnerships with ARS
  • Acquire marketing assessments on ARS technologies from 3rd party sources (business schools, entrepreneur programs, angel investors, etc.) for targeted marketing
  • Coordinate “Technology Showcase” events to facilitate partnerships with private sector companies (TEDCO, October 30, 2008 – Four Points Sheraton at BWI)
goals of ars partnership intermediaries18
Goals of ARS Partnership Intermediaries

Provide complementary assets needed by private sector to succeed in commercializing federal inventions

  • Assist in accessing public / private funds
    • SBIR proposals
    • Angel investors / state funds
    • Manufacturing capacity
  • Manage their own seed/venture funds or networks to support CRADA and license partners of ARS
  • Assist in problem solving manufacturing capacity
  • Network with other ATIP members and other federal PIA networks.
an early atip tedco successful commercialization
An Early ATIP (TEDCO) Successful Commercialization …

Rice-based frying batter, called ChoiceBatter, absorbs 50% less oil (Fred Shih, ARS, New Orleans, LA; CrispTek, LLC) (License 4/.’08; TEDCO support 10/’08; 1st sale 5/’09)


building the atip program
Building the ATIP Program

Envisioned as providing an efficient network to ARS with each Partners serving as a conduit to a greater number of local, regional (e.g., county), or state entities, including venture capitalists and angel investors.

Because of the need for regional access to private sector companies and resources for sustained economic development, ATIP is likely to have optimal effectiveness with 8 economic development Partners, strategically distributed across the country.

the ars atip network
The ARS ATIP Network:
  • Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO; 2007)
  • Mississippi Technology Alliance (MTA; 2008)
  • Wisconsin Security Research Consortium (Wisconsin Technology Council; Sept. 15, 2009)
  • National Association of Seed & Venture Funds (NASVF; Oct. 16, 2009)
  • Ben Franklin Technology Partners (PA; pending)
  • Georgia Research Alliance (GRA; pending)
  • Cal. Assoc. for Local Econ. Dev. (CALED; pending)
a usda dod partnership
A USDA / DoD Partnership…

ARS ATIP and DoD’s OTTPIN (Partnership Intermediary Network) reached agreement to formalize interactions to createanew model to facilitate public/private partnerships for sustainable economic development and to meet common interests of DoD, USDA . Examples may include:

  • Local food / local consumption
  • Urban agriculture in cities and DoD installations
  • Distributed bioenergy production from biomass
emerging partnerships in support of administration secretary vilsack priorities
Emerging Partnerships In Support of Administration & Secretary Vilsack Priorities…

Local production of foods in rural to urban environments

  • Feeding the eastern seaboard
  • Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority
  • Toledo local food production (Center for Innovative Food Technology)
  • Harnessing USDA Rural Development programs to support local / regional food systems
the research capacity of ars26
The Research Capacity of ARS

ARS will establish five regional Bioenergy Feedstock Centers

  • Anchored at 5 current ARS locations (“hubs”)
  • Involving dozens of ARS research scientists from across the agency (“spokes”)
  • Establishing public / private consortia, and cooperative research agreements

USDA Forest Service to establish Agroforestry Center , and flexible feedstock Biorefinery Pilot Plant

pelletized feather

Keratin-based Bioplastic from Poultry Operations


Walter Schmidt

Rolland Walter

George Gassner

Pelletized feather



CRADA Partner: Chesapeake


pelletize feather

Keratin-based Bioplastic from Poultry Operations

Pelletize feather


CRADA Partner:

Horticultural Research Institute (joint patent)


Keratin-based Bioplastic from Poultry Operations

Commercialization / Financial Strategies



(John General)

Plant Pot Project



Horticulture Research Institute


distributed energy system from rcm enviremed american solar ars
Distributed Energy System from RCM/EnviRemed/ American Solar / ARS

Generating electricity through composting


Army / Air Force stirling engines


distributed energy system from rcm enviremed american solar ars crada
Distributed Energy System from RCM/EnviRemed/ American Solar / ARS CRADA
  • Feedstocks -- food waste, agricultural waste, biofuel crops (e.g., energy cane, switch grass, Napier grass)
  • Potential uses:
  • Military applications on bases & remote settings
  • Supplement energy needs of farms, rural communities, and schools (& compost for landscaping , fresh fruits and vegetables for the school cafeteria)
  • Operate greenhouses (i.e., heat, cool, light, ventilate, etc.) off the power grid
  • Operate aquaculture systems (i.e., heat, filtration, light, ventilate, etc.) off the power grid. Solar heat, food/agriculture waste products and biofuel crops could be used as feedstock for the units. This would allow raising fish in abandoned urban warehouses in northern climates.


& biofuels

New foods & biobased products

Component separation

The future ….biobased products & biofuels


Photo: Quiet Waters Park, Annapolis, MD

(Joann Perkins)

The Office of Technology Transfer ….

… promoting the adoption of ARS research outcomes

Richard J. Brenner, Ph.D.

Assistant Administrator

Don Nordlund

Technology Transfer Coordinator, Athens, GA

Office of Technology Transfer

5601 Sunnyside Ave

Beltsville, MD 20705

(301) 504-6905