On September 14-16, 2015 the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center hosted the 2015 Ag Innovation Showcase. Here are the highlights we took away from the event.
Ag innovation is global - Companies from around the world gathered in St. Louis for this event, with a showcase inclusive of companies in the U.S., Canada, Israel, Netherlands, New Zealand and India. Many additional countries were represented as sponsors or panelists.
St. Louis and the Midwest is an epicenter of this global activity - St. Louis-based emerging companies Glucan Biorenewables, APSE, and Forrest Innovations presented at the Ag Innovation Showcase. The Midwest was sufficiently represented by numerous sponsors and panelists with headquarters or presence in the region including: NewLeaf Symbiotics, BioSTL and BioGenerator, Monsanto, Missouri Technology Corporation, The Yield Lab, KWS, and Husch Blackwell’s Food & Agribusiness team, just to name a few!
A confluence of data, biologics and collaboration is moving agricultural production systems into the 21st century – while there many great insights and perspectives than we can capture here, some of the major themes include:
- COLLABORATION is happening both horizontally and vertically along the food production value chain. The intersection of technology and research is driving new collaborations. IBM, Mars and the University of California-Davis – highlighted as a technology company, food manufacturer and academic institution–discussed the collaborative efforts being undertaken to help ensure a safe and secure food supply chain.
BIOLOGICS, derived from naturally occurring organisms, which can be cultured or synthetically reproduced, represents next generation agricultural innovation. Biologics will be a key component in helping producers maximize yield and mitigate risks in the face of increasing scarcity and costs of agricultural inputs.
DATA will be increasingly valuable in assisting producers and others in the food supply chain. Data will assist in farm management as climate variability, input costs and water issues challenge producers. Data will also be key for other participants in the food supply chain (such as food manufacturers and retailers) as sustainability and traceability of food and food production become increasingly relevant and important to consumers, regulators, and policy makers.
These were a few of the takeaways from three great days at the Ag Innovation Showcase. It was a great program and RubinBrown is proud to be able to attend an event that showcases the region and its leadership in agricultural innovation!
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