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MADISON - The in-house research arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture will work with a Wisconsin tech-based organization to help make its world-class research more widely available to companies and academic institutions in Wisconsin, it was announced Tuesday.

The Agricultural Research Service, which has scientists working at 100 locations across the United States and abroad, has signed a “Partnership Intermediary Agreement” with the Wisconsin Security Research Consortium, an independent, non-profit corporation with ties to the Wisconsin Technology Council. The Tech Council is the independent, non-partisan science and technology adviser to the governor and the Legislature in Wisconsin.

The agreement calls for WSRC to help disseminate information about ARS technologies and research capabilities to promote “further research, product development, commercialization and economic opportunities.” WSRC and the Tech Council represent the third innovation-based economic development members of the Agricultural Technology Innovation Partnership program. The Innovation Partnership program was established by ARS in 2007 to speed adoption of ARS research outcomes by private sector companies and contribute to sustainable economic development in America.

ARS conducts research at federal laboratories throughout the United States and in several overseas locations to develop and transfer solutions to agricultural problems of high national priority. Those priorities include high-quality safe food and other agricultural products, assessing the nutritional needs of Americans, sustaining a competitive agricultural economy, enhancing the natural resource base and the environment, and providing economic opportunities for rural citizens, communities and society as a whole.

ARS has about 1,100 research projects within 22 national programs, staffed by 2,100 scientists and 6,000 other employees. The Midwest Area, one of eight areas in ARS, has a major presence in Madison and 11 other locations in 8 Midwest states. Research projects are under the management of Dr. Larry Chandler, Area Director, in Peoria, Ill.

“The reach and scope of ARS innovation is substantial,” said Tom Still, a member of the WSRC board of directors and president of the Tech Council. “We will be looking for ways in which we can help organizations tap into this great national resource.”

“Thanks to research by ARS scientists, some infant formulas are now closer to mother's milk, many popular foods contain a fat replacer made from oats and barley, and American farmers are planting high-quality, disease- and pest-resistant wheat and other crops,” noted Jack Heinemann, director of the Wisconsin Security Research Consortium.

Dr. Richard Brenner, Assistant Administrator of the ARS and director of the Office of Technology Transfer, headquartered in Beltsville, Md., will speak about tech transfer opportunities during the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium in Madison, Nov. 10-11, 2009, at the Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center. This will include information on how private companies in Wisconsin may execute Cooperative Research and Development Agreements with ARS to find solutions to agricultural problems and promote their adoption through commercialization.