Commercializing University Research for Farmers


Commercializing University Research for Farmers

Tim hammerich

It’s time for your report on the Farm of the Future. I am Tim Hammerich.

Yesterday we reported on FarmSense, which markets pest monitoring technology developed from research conducted at the University of California at Riverside. It all started when co-founder Eamonn Keogh began to apply computer science to parasites in his research as a professor.

Keogh… “So I’m a computer science teacher in AI and data mining, and I’ve always loved bugs. So about ten years ago, I tried to combine these two ideas through academic research on insects. And about five or six years ago, it occurred to me that there is really an interest in a commercial product here and that we can help the producer. We can help people produce more food. So we formed a company about five years ago.

There is a lot of fantastic research going on at the university level and unfortunately some of it never goes to market. Keogh explains that the ability of scientists to commercialize their own research varies from university to university.

Keogh… “Some universities are known to be very business friendly. I think my university, UC Riverside, is wonderful. But 10 years ago, there was no such kind of philosophy. And about ten years ago, we hired a new research director, Mike Pazzani. And he really encouraged people to do marketing. But it depends on the culture of the university and of the individual as well of course.

The company recently received $ 2.2 million in funding from SBIR for the development of biosecurity measures against native and invasive pests.


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