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Michigan State’s AgBio Innovation Hub Awards Over $715K

Monday, April 2, 2018   (0 Comments)
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The Michigan State University MTRAC AgBio Innovation Hub has invested in advancing technologies that will make an impact on the commercial market in agriculture, food packing, biotechnology, natural resources and animal health.

Thirteen research technologies were awarded a total of over $715,000 in funding from the MTRAC hub, which stands for Michigan Translation Research and Commercialization. Eight of those proposed technologies received annual Tier I Full funding awards, and five received Tier II Starter awards with the opportunity to reach key milestones and consideration for submission for a Tier I Full grant proposal.

“With a continued focus on using advancements to improve and further agriculture, food packaging, biotechnology, natural resources and animal health, these teams have shown the potential to make an impact on the AgBio commercial market,” said Kevin McCurren, MSU AgBio MTRAC Commercialization Program Director. “Investing in these technologies created in different state universities reinforces the state of Michigan and its historic mission in being a leader in the agriculture industry. For the first time, this year’s awardees include project collaboration between the University of Michigan Medical School and the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine.”

Projects receiving Tier 1 AgBio Full award funding include:

Using BioOil as a Source of Fuel in Petroleum Refineries, Dr. Ezra Bar-Ziv (MTU)
Enhancing Growth and Productivity of Soybeans and Alfalfa Through Implementation of a Single-Modifier Strategy, Dr. Federica Brandizzi (MSU)
Drought-Tolerant Potato Technologies, Dr. David Douches (MSU)
Efficient Manufacturing of Activated Charcoal Using High Density Plasma Technologies, Dr. Qi Hua Fan (MSU) • Transparent High-Barrier
Polypropylene Films for Improved Food Packaging, Dr. Krishnamurthy Jayaraman (MSU)
Improved Stevia Varieties, Dr. Ryan M. Warner (MSU)
Biodegradable Controlled‐Release Trunk Injection Plug for Protecting Tree Crops from Disease and Insect Pests, Dr. John Wise (MSU)
Novel Animal Cancer Therapeutic Development Using Route and Toxicity Studies, Dr. Vilma Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan (MSU) & Dr. Jetze Tepe (MSU)
Projects qualifying for and receiving Tier II AgBio Starter awards include:

Improved Cotton Fiber Quality, Dr. Shi-You Ding (MSU)
Using Light to Help Diverse Microbes Grow Sustainable Bioplastics Together, Dr. Daniel Ducat (MSU)
Using Aptamer Treatment for Equine Joint Inflammation, Dr. David Markovitz (UM), Dr. Nirit Mor-Vaknin (UM) & Dr. Jane Marie Manfredi (MSU)
• Identification of a Rare-Earth-Dependent Plant Probiotic Microbial Community that Stimulates Plant Growth, Dr. Norma Cecilia Martinez-Gomez (MSU)
• Low-Cost, High-Barrier Bottles for Beer And Juice Packaging, Dr. Muhammad Rabnawaz (MSU)
In July 2016, the MSU MTRAC AgBio program, in partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Entrepreneur and Innovation initiative, was designated as the first statewide Innovation Hub, meaning the program can support applicants from institutions of higher education, non-profit research centers and hospital systems across the state. Technologies can be from research settings to practical real-world applications.

Since the program’s inception, it has received 101 project proposals, funding 48 of them generating a total of nearly $51.6 million in follow-on funding.


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