TechAccel & Danforth Plant Science Center Announce Strategic Partnership to Advance Ag Innovation


ST. LOUIS & KANSAS CITY, Mo.—December 6, 2016—TechAccel, a Kansas City-based technology and venture development company and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, a St. Louis-based not-for-profit research institute with a mission to improve the human condition through plant science, today announced a Path to Commercialization program with a primary goal of advancing and commercializing agricultural innovations from the laboratory into the marketplace. The strategic partnership will initially provide up to $250,000 in grants to demonstrate proof-of-concept or commercial feasibility studies with principal investigators at or affiliated with the Danforth Center.

“This partnership with the Danforth Center is an important milestone for TechAccel and the agriculture ecosystem,” said Michael Helmstetter, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive of TechAccel. “Agriculture research can and will change the world, but only if it has the backing to move from concept to proof to product. We bring capital coupled with science advancement to support that push to the finish line—the commercial market.”

Supported projects are expected to produce new assets—license-ready technology, processes or products, or new spin-off companies. Returns on program investments will be shared between TechAccel and the Danforth Center.

“The Path to Commercialization program provides a new tool for translating our discoveries into real-world solutions,” said James C. Carrington, Ph.D., president of the Danforth Center. “We look forward to seeing even more of the Danforth Center’s research delivering transformative products and technology to market.”

Competitive grants and contracts provide support for research projects, education and outreach, and some funding for equipment and facilities; however, this is the first grant specifically targeted to help commercialize innovation at the Danforth Center.

TechAccel participates in a similar concept with an alliance at the University of California-Davis established in April 2016. In the Science Translation and Innovative Research (STAIR)-Plus program at UC-Davis, TechAccel invested $400,000 for grants to commercialize or prove out agriculture- and animal health-related innovations.

“The Path to Commercialization program shows our commitment to the Danforth Center and to delivering agtech solutions to the world,” said Terry Dunn, chairman of the Board of Directors of TechAccel. “We are confident this program will advance some of the most promising work underway at the world-class Danforth Center.”

About The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a not-for-profit research institute with a mission to improve the human condition through plant science. Research aims to feed the hungry and improve human health, preserve and renew the environment and position the St.

Louis region as a world center for plant science. The Center’s work is funded through competitive grants and contract revenue from many sources, including the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Agency for International Development, the Bill & Melinda Gates and Howard G. Buffett Foundations. Visit the Danforth Center website at Follow us on Twitter at @DanforthCenter.

About TechAccel

TechAccel, LLC, was founded in 2014 as a first-of-its-kind technology and venture development company in the agriculture and animal health sectors. TechAccel sources, invests in and acquires early-stage innovations. Through collaborations with universities and research institutions, TechAccel conducts advancement and de-risking research and development to ready technologies for commercialization. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter at @Tech_Accel.

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