State funds Ohio ag innovations


COLUMBUS – The Ohio State University received an $11.6 million grant May 10 through Gov. Bob Taft’s Third Frontier Project to establish the Ohio BioProducts Innovation Center.
New uses for corn, beans. This center’s goal is to accelerate commercialization of new products, particularly by developing chemical conversion technologies.
These technologies will allow the center to produce products such as lubricants and adhesives made from raw materials like soybeans and corn.
“Instead of raising soybeans, we will be providing the renewable building blocks, such as proteins, carbohydrates and oils, which are used in everything from construction materials to lubricants to improved plastics,” said Amy Davis, Ohio Soybean Council
chairman and Warren County soybean farmer.
Checkoff paved way. For nearly a decade, Ohio soybean farmers, through checkoff-funded activities, have invested almost $8 million in soybean research and new use developments through cooperative efforts with Battelle and Ohio State University..
The Ohio Soybean Council earned R&D 100 awards in 2002 and 2003 for soy-based plasticizers and soy resin- based toners, respectively.
The soybean council and Battelle are two of the new center’s major Ohio collaborators. Others include the Ohio Polymer Strategy Council and Cooperative Business International.
“Because these new varieties will be developed by scientists at Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, the crops will thrive in Ohio’s growing conditions, giving Ohio another competitive advantage,” said Davis.
‘Cell to Sell.’ “OBIC’s ‘Cell to Sell’ management plan links Ohio’s research and commercial partners,” said Bobby Moser, OSU dean and vice president for agriculture administration.
“This will focus academic research on market-based problems that have been identified by our business partners, ultimately leading to the commercialization of high-value industrial bio-products and manufacturing solutions, made from Ohio soybeans and corn.”
Pushing high tech. A 10-year, $1.1 billion initiative, the Ohio Third Frontier Project is the state’s largest commitment to expand Ohio’s high-tech research capabilities.
Last December, Gov. Bob Taft awarded Ohio State’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster a $1.5 million grant to create a bio-energy research facility to turn various agricultural and food-processing wastes into energy.


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