The Indiana agbiosciences have been shining brightly these last few months. And, people are doing more than simply “taking notice” – they are joining our movement.
Because I know the word is still a bit new to many, let me offer a brief refresh. Ag+Bio+Science = the convergence of food, agriculture, science and technology. Today, the agbiosciences bring together production agriculture, biotechnology, pharma, human health, engineering of all kinds, data tools and analytics and so much more. So, it makes sense that Indiana would be a natural leader in the sector when you factor in our competitive strengths in the life sciences, tech and advanced manufacturing.
There have been some terrific agbioscience “wins” recently for Indiana. These have come through a variety of channels – through new relationships, show-stopping conferences, business investments, and showing youth that careers in food and agricultural innovation are critical, accessible and amazing! Any one of these successes would be worthy of individual promotion and sharing, but it is the collection of recent achievements that really makes the story.
Building New Relationships
In May, a dozen Indiana agbioscience leaders joined Governor Eric Holcomb and Secretary of Commerce Jim Schillinger for a trip to Israel (aka “Start Up Nation”) to attend two conferences that showcased Israel innovation and entrepreneurs. New relationships were formed among delegation members and with global and start-up ag tech firms from across Israel. Our Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) and the Israel Innovation Authority signed a memorandum of understanding to continue to develop a relationship around agbioscience innovation. One of our delegates, Mark Lupke of Philadelphia-based EnviroKure, shared his thoughts on the trip in an Inside Indiana Business perspective piece – I’d encourage you to check it out again!
Show-Stopping National Conference
September was another great month showcasing the our agbiosciences community. AgriNovus Indiana and the IEDC partnered to host the inaugural Forbes AgTech Summit – Indianapolis. A large white tent with a Reynold’s Farm Equipment John Deere tractor at its entrance appeared on the White River State Park and showcased cutting-edge technology in agriculture for the over 500 attendees from across the country. The overwhelming feeling of those leaving the two-day conference was that Indiana looked great – our innovation, our leadership and our collaborative spirit!
New Business Investments
The proof of our innovation climate comes in the form of new business investments. We are delivering here as well. Premier BioSource, a California-based company specializing in the production of research-purposed swine, announced in September that Indiana will be home to a research and development facility in Rensselaer. Their pigs are used solely for biomedical research and product development, contributing to advancements in heart stents, cardiac repair and rejuvenation, diabetes and insulin research, and surgical procedures.
EnviroKure, Inc., a Pennsylvania-based business, also announced an expansion in Indiana and plans for an operation in Wells County. EnviroKure is a high-value liquid biofertilizer company that produces biologic amendments and organic fertilizers from chicken litter.
Just last week, Italpollina had a ribbon-cutting at their new production facility in Anderson. Italpollina is a global biostimulant production company headquartered in Italy with a footprint in 80 countries. AgriNovus welcomes CEO Luca Bonini to our Board of Directors – they are ready to be a part of Indiana’s agbioscience community!
Presenting Ag+Bio+Science to Future Talent
In October, Indianapolis was host to more than 67,000 students, teachers and sponsors at the National FFA Convention & Expo. A new element this year was the Blue Room presented by AgriNovus Indiana and powered by Microsoft. The Blue Room was a 17,000 square foot space in the Convention Center that showcased cutting-edge agriculture innovation and technology to 4,000 high school students. It featured Ted-style talks, an Innovation Escape Room designed by Elanco Animal Health and fun, interactive displays from global agbioscience companies like Corteva Agriscience, United Animal Health, BASF, Cargill, FMC, Blue River Technology, and many more.
How To Get Involved
Do we have you interested now? Great! Let’s find ways to connect. Let’s start new conversations. AgriNovus is hosting the 2018 Agbioscience Innovation Summit on Nov. 29th at the JW Marriott. The event will highlight industry convergence opportunities and connect you with over 400 diverse industry and business leaders, entrepreneurs, scientists and investors as well as representatives from several Indiana colleges and universities. Come to the Summit! Listen to our podcast Indiana is Ag+Bio+Science! Follow us on social media @AgriNovusIN!
Beth Bechdol is president + CEO of AgriNovus Indiana. She excels at building unconventional alliances, connecting people who may not know they need connecting and telling the exciting and inspiring story of the agbiosciences.