Research is just the beginning, not the end Collaboration with other organizations is critical during every step of innovation
AURI: Growing Minnesota’s economy one client at a time
Client Stories Compost-A-Mat Idea to reality: A comfortable yet biodegradable mat for use in hog farrowing and nursery barns. Made from cornstalks; improves growing conditions; decreases mortality rates for baby and weaned pigs. AURI’s role: Provide connections to a manufacturer and scientific resources to help test and develop the product Outcomes: Sold more than one million mats; created at least six jobs in northern Minnesota
Swheat Scoop (Pet Care Systems) Idea to reality: A renewable, flushable cat litter made from naturally-clumping wheat. AURI’s role: Product development and testing Outcomes: $20 million business; employs 24 full- time workers; a national sales force of eight; will add four new jobs in the near future Client Stories
Nots! Idea to reality: A crunchy snack for those with nut allergies AURI’s Role: Product development, nutritional labeling and cost-share assistance Outcomes: Nots! produces about 100 cases of nots a month and is growing
Client Stories Protecting our waters with ag filters Idea to reality: Bioreactors (biofilters) help reduce fertilizer run-off and soil erosion, but have been made from wood chips or straw, which have high costs. AURI is exploring the effectiveness of using agricultural residues such as corn stover and wheat and barley straw. AURI’s role: AURI is conducting a 15-month study in partnership with the USDA-ARS lab in St. Paul Outcomes: If agricultural fibers can be used in place of wood chips or straw, it will save money for producers, encouraging participation in this conservation practice; it will also make use of products such as corn stover and wheat and barley straw, which are often unused waste. Partners: USDA-ARS Lab
Client Stories Feeding Trials Idea to reality: Farmers need more information about new livestock feed alternatives to make economical and nutritious choices AURI’s role: AURI does many feed trials with the U of M and commodity groups; then disseminates the info to producers in a variety of ways Outcomes: Improving livestock feed with the coproducts left over during agricultural processing is a win-win. Livestock farmers find nutritional, lower cost feed options. The agricultural processing industry adds value to the products left over during processing. Partners: University of Minnesota, Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council, Minnesota Turkey Growers, Minnesota Pork Producers, and others
Client Stories Riverview Dairy Idea to reality: Use digested manure solids from its 30,000 cattle for energy and as a garden soil amendment and peat alternative AURI’s role: Characterizing the physical and chemical attributes of the digester solids; horticulture research trials Outcomes: The Riverview group in MN, SD, and NE now employs more than 400 people.
Client Stories EarthClean Corporation Idea to reality: Certification to use the corn-based firefighting product to fight forest fires; development of a liquid version of the product AURI’s role: Product development and testing Outcomes: Commercial quantities of TetraKO powder will be available for the 2012-13 wildfire season; work on the liquid version of the firefighting product is well underway.
BioTarp New product developed in our Marshall lab to replace plastic tarps to cover silage and grain piles Client Stories
Alternative Energy Solutions, Altura, MN o Heats 65,000 sq. ft. of greenhouse o Reduces energy costs by about 50% o Uses 500-600 tons pellets/year
Client Stories Vector Windows Idea to reality: Vector Windows wanted to improve the overall energy efficiency and “green aspects” of their windows. AURI’s role: AURI staff introduced them to soy-based polyoil insulation, connected them to the manufacturer and equipment provider, and provided cost-share assistance for testing. Outcomes: Vector’s windows now have an R-5 quality grade, meeting the newest energy efficiency standards set by the Obama administration. They are also looking to create a label that promotes their use of Minnesota farmers’ products. Partners: Harold Stanislawski, executive director of the Fergus Falls Economic Improvement Commission, connected Vector Windows with AURI.