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Ideas Assessment Implementation Value-Added Enterprise

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More Information on the AICC

The initial activities of the Center would be:

  1. Developing an educational curriculum consisting of publications, decision aids, spreadsheet tools, and checklists that can be used to help determine the viability and commercial potential of an agricultural innovation.  

  2. Using the developed educational curriculum to assess the viability of four identified prototype innovations.  The prototypes will be assessed as follows:

    1. Determine the technical and economic efficiency of producing the new product or implementing the new process.

    2. Assess the market potential of each new product or process.

    3. Analyze the profitability and financial feasibility of the enterprise for investors and generate a feasibility study.

    4. Develop a business plan for each new product or process.

  3. Delivering educational seminars to producer groups that focus on the material from the developed curriculum.

  4. Promoting and delivering the Centerís products and services including:

    1. Respond to requests from individuals and groups of producers, through the New Ventures Team, for assistance in assessing the potential of developing new value-added business ventures.

    2. Development and distribution of brochures, posters and educational publications

    3. Development and continual updating of a Center website

    4. Work with Purdue Extension Specialists and Educators, specifically through the New Ventures Team and Leadership and Community Development group to distribute brochures and announce the Center and its products/services

    5. Work with the members of the Centerís Board of Directors to print announcements of the Center in their respective newsletters and other promotional materials

    6. Secure invitations to be on the program of currently existing Purdue Extension programs to outline the product/services of the Center (e.g. Bankers program, Farm Management Tour, Top Crop Workshop)

    7. Secure invitations to be on the program of annual meetings (and other programs) of other groups (e.g. County Farm Bureau meetings, Annual meetings of commodity groups)

    8. Send e-mail and regular mailings to Purdue School of Agricultural alumni lists, the mailing list of the Center for Food and Agricultural Business (CAB), and other lists to announce the Centerís product/services.

 The Centerís scope will embrace innovations that emanate from new technology as well as those that come from felt needs of potential customers/users.  The innovations can be of either a product or process form.  The prototypes to be shepherded in the initial phase of the Center represent different combinations of origins and forms of innovations.  The prototypes are:

  1. A new soy protein based detergent additive to produce superior detergent

  2. A new system of production protocols and auditing mechanisms for certified pork products

  3. A producer group considering the development of a corn masa-flour plant

  4. A soy derived product for enhancing the viscosity and nutrient value of traditional foods

These 4 prototypes will be taken through the complete discovery and commercialization analysis (including feasibility studies and a business plan) to be made ready for full commercialization. In addition, the four prototypes will serve as case studies to illustrate and document the use of the analytical and educational tools and protocols.

 

Once established, the Center would focus its resources on guiding targeted entrepreneurs through the innovation assessment process by using the exercises and tools as the framework for developing a comprehensive analysis and business plan.   The Center would then shepherd the entrepreneurs and their business plan through Purdueís New Venture Team to the appropriate group for start-up activities of funding, incubation, and ground breaking; such groups include the Office of Technology Commercialization and/or the Gateways program at Purdue University among other such organizations, inside and outside of Purdue University.

 

The capacity of the Center to deliver on its goals is encompassed in its partnerships and strategic alliances with highly qualified organizations, teams, and individuals.  The AICC will be a partnership between the New Ventures Team and the Center for Food and Agricultural Business (CAB) at Purdue University and it represents a powerful vehicle for assisting new value-added ventures in successfully implementing their plans as well as developing and delivering the discovery and innovation education and tools to the producers of the State of Indiana.  This partnership brings with it 17 years of experience in developing and delivering educational programs combined with a recognized, active team of Extension educators dedicated to working with individuals and groups of producers on value-added agricultural ventures.  In addition, the Centerís strategic alliances with the Center for Advanced Food Entrepreneurship (CAF…), Dr. Bernie Tao in Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE), and the Purdue Pork Team provide the Center with key linkages to groups with technical expertise in food and industrial innovations as well as key expertise in process innovations.  Finally, the Centerís strategic alliances with producer organizations and the processing and retailing industries provide key ingredients for first reaching producers and then providing them opportunities to develop and market new value-added products.

 

In summary the overarching purpose of this proposal is to develop the capacity, institutional structure and assessment tools, within the Agricultural Innovation and Commercialization Center, to assist producers in the discovery/exploration and commercialization phases of transforming an idea or innovation into a profitable business venture.  There will be many deliverables within the first year of the Centerís activity including four prototype innovations that will have been carried through the assessment process and, if deemed positive, moved to the start-up phase.  In addition, the Center will develop a set of educational materials and user tools for the discovery/exploration and commercialization process that will continue to be used to assess new value-added agricultural innovations.  The most important deliverable of this project will be the development of capacity and capability of the Center and its relationships which will continue to foster new venture and value-added activities beyond the one year duration of funding from USDA-RBS.

 

Agricultural Economics Purdue University School of Agriculture

 


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