The artist Pablo Picasso once said that “Action is the foundational key to all success.” The Minnesota Agbioscience Strategy report by the world-renowned Battelle Technology Partnership Practice (see story on pg. 9) makes it clear that there is opportunity and capacity for our state to be a global leader in agbioscience (agriculture and the associated biosciences), resulting in high-paying jobs, a revitalized rural sector and continuing prosperity and growth. However, action is necessary to take advantage of this opportunity.
Over the years, there have been many reports by reputable organizations as to various opportunities the state and region could seize. But too often these reports have ended up sitting on shelves, or have committees formed to discuss the reports, but no progress is seen. At AURI, we have a laser-focus on implementation. It’s how we help our clients take their ideas through to reality. It’s how we ensure that research is applied in the marketplace. And we’re going to apply that experience in implementation to this strategy recommended by Battelle.
So what does implementation look like? The exact shape of how we make these ideas reality is still taking shape, but a few things are clear.
Collaboration, which is a critical component to the success of so many projects, will be instrumental to this implementation. For Minnesota to take full advantage of the recommended strategy, it requires far more than AURI can do alone. This is why we’re having conversations with policymakers, farm organizations, commodity groups, higher education and many others as to their roles in the implementation.
Battelle pointed out that there are many great things happening in the agbioscience arena in Minnesota, but to capture the potential, activities and information should be better coordinated and shared. Collaboration and networks of people will be essential; therefore, AURI has contracted with Minnesota Rural Partners to conduct a network mapping survey focusing on roles and connections that individuals and organizations currently have in agbioscience in Minnesota.
AURI’s strategic leadership team is looking at how AURI can align our focus and priorities with the platforms and opportunities identified by Battelle, so that we can best position our work to help Minnesota succeed.
We will continue to share updates on the implementation via this newspaper, our website (auri.org), Facebook, Twitter and more. I want to thank the report’s steering committee members, whose input has been essential in getting us to a final report, and many of whom are committed to helping see us through to implementation. The steering committee list is at the end of this column.
As Picasso said, action is key to success. And at AURI, we are dedicated to helping ensure Minnesota’s future as an agbioscience leader.
Battelle’s Agbioscience Strategy Report Steering Team:
Farmers Union Industries
First Green Partners
Midwest Dairy Association
Midwest Dairy Foods Research Center
Minnesota Agri-Growth Council
Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
Minnesota Office of Department of Employment and Economic Development
Minnesota Office of Higher Education
Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council
Minnesota Turkey/Chicken and Egg Association of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
USDA Agricultural Research Service