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AURI to Host 2023 New Uses Forum

The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) will host its New Uses Forum on Tuesday, April 11, 2023, from 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. at the Minneapolis Marriott West in Minneapolis, Minn. A component of the AURI Connects program, the New Uses Forum is an annual conference dedicated to accelerating innovation and investment in value-added food and agriculture.

This year’s conference will feature a keynote speaker, panel discussions on economic conditions, as well as food and bio-industrial opportunities, under the common theme of Exploring the Intersection of Innovation and Investment in Food and Agriculture. Attendees will be able to engage with industry experts who will emphasize trends and innovations in value-added areas of fermentation applications, consumer decisions related to health and food purchases, economic considerations and investment trends.

The New Uses Forum is open to anyone with an interest in value-added agriculture, innovation in agriculture, finance and investment, and supporting Minnesota’s entrepreneur ecosystem.

This year’s event will be hybrid, offering in-person ($100) or virtual ($25) attendance options. Please visit for event agenda, speaker list and registration.

The 2023 New Uses Forum will conclude with the Bold Open and Smash the Senses events.

The Bold Open, which utilizes an open innovation platform and a reverse pitch model, brings together notable food and agriculture companies to find solutions to problems they are facing in their business or industry. Presenters will share challenges and seek novel, innovative solutions via this unique reverse pitch event.

The event encourages individuals and organizations with pioneering ideas that could benefit the food and ag industry to submit an application for partnership consideration. Minnesota has a rich ecosystem of food and agriculture companies that broadly support innovation and this platform provides a point of entry for novel and innovative ideas to be considered.

Previous challenges included: Spoilage Sensing and Detection for Protein Products, Commercialization Partnerships for a Colloidal Barrier Mulch, New Uses for Oat Byproducts, Gamifiation Models for Farm Management Data, Sustainable Winter Road Maintenance Solutions, Personalized Protein Snacks or Meals, New Uses for Soybean hulls, and more.

This year’s Bold Open will feature several challenges from the food and agriculture industry and attendees will have the opportunity to network with the featured companies in an effort to accelerate collaborations and solve current challenges.

Smash the Senses
Following the Bold Open session, AURI will partner with Naturally Minnesota to highlight some unique entrepreneurial products from Minnesota’s growing food and beverage ecosystem during its Smash the Senses event. Attendees will have a chance to mingle while enjoying delicious food and drinks from Minnesota entrepreneurs. Last year’s offerings included samples from Sara’s Tipsy Pies, Artisan Naan Bakery, The Amazing Chickpea, Isadore Nuts, Social Mixers and One Step Foods, among others.

The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute’s Ag Innovator of the Year Award has lauded innovative Minnesota businesses for more than a decade. Each year, AURI’s Board of Directors bestows this honor upon a client company or entrepreneur who generates significant impact in the areas of product innovation, uniqueness and commercialization potential, as well as for its contributions to value-added agriculture.

The award launched in 2002 and previous recipients include: New Starch Solutions (Plymouth, Minn.), Milk Specialties Global (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Chippewa Valley Ethanol Co-op (Benson, Minn.) Mississippi Topsoils (Cold Spring, Minn.) and Smude Oil (Pierz, Minn.). The 2023 award will be presented during the New Uses Forum luncheon.