Innovation Network Program

AURI is all about adding value to agriculture through research in proven but innovative ways. The mission of the Innovation Network program is to actively engage thought leaders, business and industry, commodity groups, stakeholders and education to accomplish AURI’s value-added mission. The vision of the Innovation Network Program is improved competitiveness of businesses/entrepreneurs through ongoing, purposeful connection of resources and partners along the value chain and increased knowledge of opportunities, technologies and trends.

To accomplish this, AURI works through our innovation model to 1) explore opportunities for value-added agriculture 2) generate research partnerships, 3) connect opportunity to industry  and 4) implement those ideas in the marketplace to grow our economy which lead to 5) outcomes of economic impact. The Innovation Network Program focuses on collaboration with other organizations to determine the highest impact projects and research. Once research is completed, AURI disseminates information to businesses and entrepreneurs who are looking for ways to take those ideas to commercialization.

The key components of the Innovation Network Program include:

  1. Industry Thought Leaders – A source of regular input and direction from the leaders in the Industry. Thought Leadership generates ideas for businesses, entrepreneurs, educators and industry that can drive innovation and economic growth and identify initiatives of timely importance.
  2. Forums – Forums focus on providing technical information to businesses and industry and provide an opportunity for participants to better understand opportunities and challenges. This is an example of AURI providing a vehicle for research initiatives to be put into the hands of the business that may ultimately commercialize and idea.
  3. Networks – Networks often grow out of forums and may be any size. Networks provide an ongoing platform for participants to grow their business and maintain competitiveness through networking and knowledge sharing.

How does the Innovation Network Program work?

AURI brings together different networks such as commodity groups, economic development organizations, initiative foundations, industry partners, and others, in large and small groups, around specific topics in AURI’s core four areas: foodrenewable energycoproducts and biobased products. AURI builds connectedness in those groups of people to help identify the highest impact research needs and then bring together the right people to implement the ideas in the marketplace.

Why is the Innovation Network Program important to AURI?

Commercialization success requires many participants from private business, as well as service providers and economics developers, financiers, and often government and education. AURI strives to bring the necessary mix of individuals to the table to benefit the businesses that are interested in moving forward with innovations. Creating these connections is essential to innovation success.

What do you mean by implementation?

Research is just the beginning of what AURI does, not the end. Research reports or studies do not do any good just sitting on a shelf. AURI wants to find new or existing businesses that are interested in pursuing commercialization of a product or process, so that the information we have researched becomes a reality.

What is an example of what happens through the Innovation Network Program?

For example, a community may have a business that has waste products (known as coproducts) that they would like to sell or find some way to make that waste create value for their business. AURI can partner with the community or local economic development organization and the business to help determine a feasible, cost-effective way, through research or our hands-on scientific assistance, to create value from those waste products, making the business more profitable and therefore growing the economy in that community. Again, bringing the right people together around the right opportunity.

How can I get more information about the Innovation Network Program?

Individuals and organizations with an interest in value-added agriculture and innovation in our core four areas of food, renewable energy, coproducts and biobased products are invited to participate in events specific to each area, receive news about our research in those areas, and network with others with an interest in these areas. Simply email to subscribe to enewsletter and events announcements.