Sustainably Bridging the Innovation Gap in Agriculture, Animal Health and Food Technology
In research, it is common to see potential new technologies shelved before they can be proven and advanced far enough to attract investment dollars. At universities, the research ends when federal grants expire; in corporate settings, reorganizations and shifting priorities shuffle research agendas. What might become an important tool, platform, or product is frequently left unfunded, unfinished, and stranded in the so-called “innovation valley of death.”
This program, originally recorded Feb. 16, 2021, examines the pathways to advance breakthrough technology toward market. Moderator Michael Helmstetter, Ph.D., is founder, president and CEO of TechAccel, a technology and equity development organization that has built a unique business model to rapidly drive innovation in agriculture, animal health and food technology to market.
Kent Glasscock, president of the Kansas State University Innovation Partners and former Speaker of the House of the State of Kansas, who addresses innovation and technology transfer from the university perspective. He draws upon experience with academic research, its application to multinational corporation objectives and the need for smart money to bridge the valley of death.
Tom Laurita, Ph.D., director of entrepreneurship for the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and former CEO of NewLeaf Symbiotics, speaks from his experience in startups and entrepreneurial ecosystems applied to the research institute, mapping pathways from basic research to market-ready technology. The Danforth Center is world’s largest nonprofit research institute in plant science, with nearly 300 scientists from 20 countries, generating $35M in operating revenue in 2019.
Tari Suprapto, Ph.D., senior advisor for External Innovation for Elanco Animal Health, speaks to the increasing importance of external innovation programs to strategic animal health multinationals. Elanco is the second largest global animal health and pharmaceutical company, operating in 90 countries and generating more than $4B annually in revenues from products to prevent and treat animal disease.
Michael Felman, president and CEO of MSF Capital Advisors, a global multi-family office. Besides his own family office, his firm advises other family offices and a select group of high net worth individuals. Winner of the Corporate Live Wire 2020 Investment Advisory Firm of the Year and a member of the NYU Stern Family Office Council, Felman is a frequent speaker at family office, hedge fund and
emerging markets conferences.
- Collaboration models between university and research institute investigators and technology development organizations.
- Sources of innovation in animal health, agriculture and food technology.
- Models for advancing stranded research, including external innovation funded by corporations, equity/VC investment, business accelerators, and concepts like TechAccel’s Equity PlusTM and Science Advancement programs.
- Review of due diligence infrastructure, expertise and partnerships employed to efficiently advance selected innovation toward commercialization.
- Overview of examples of portfolio assets in environmental sustainability, RNAi-based biopesticides, regenerative technologies for soil health, plant-trait development and more.