Ag Innovation Showcase Blog

What We’re Reading: Regulatory Pathways Emerge For Gene-Edited Products

By March 24, 2017 Ag Issues

From our partners at Sidley Austin

March 24, 2017
There has long been uncertainty about when and how U.S. regulators would respond to emerging genetic technologies such as gene editing (e.g., CRISPR, TALENs). This uncertainty has posed issues for a range of innovators who are quickly adopting these techniques as a more targeted, efficient tool to achieve desired products. In a series of publications, the agencies responsible for the Coordinated Framework for Biotechnology, namely USDA, FDA and EPA, have finally provided some insight into how regulators might approach these products and they invite comments from stakeholders on how best to proceed. Each agency proposal has the potential to significantly shape the integration of emerging genetic technologies into product development. It is important for stakeholders to understand these developments and engage with regulators to shape policy in a rapidly evolving area. Click here to download the full article.

Read More

Meet the AIS @ Davis Keynote – Tom Nassif of Western Growers Association

By March 17, 2017 Speakers, Updates

Ag Innovation Showcase at Davis, organized by the World Food Center and Larta Institute will include a keynote address from Tom Nassif, President and CEO of the Western Growers Association. A sneak peak at what’s on Tom’s mind can be found in his blog, Nassif’s Notes. His articles in the past year have often explored the intersection of public policy and trends in agriculture, highlighting his concerns and opinions on a diverse range of topics. Topics of particular interest to Showcase attendees include: the shortfall of technically skilled labor and its impact on the future of agriculture, the implications for farm families and farm employees of the current move by the Republican majority in Congress to revise or repeal the Affordable Care Act, and water policies as mandated by state and federal regulations.

Larta CEO, Rohit Shukla, to give keynote address at AURI Forum in March

By March 9, 2017 Recommendations

Larta CEO, Rohit Shukla, will be one of two keynote speakers at the upcoming the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) Forum in Minnesota.

AURI Forum to Tackle New Uses for Ag Products

“There are so many exciting things happening around innovations and opportunities to develop new uses for Minnesota’s diverse crops and agricultural products,” said Shannon Schlecht, AURI executive director. “Participants are sure to leave with a greater awareness of resources and opportunities available and hopefully energized about moving new and innovative utilization ideas forward.”
The event includes panel discussions with question-and-answer sessions, networking opportunities and speakers from universities, commodity groups, financial companies, government agencies and farm membership organizations.
There are two keynote speakers: Chris Mallett, corporate vice president of research and development for CargillCorp., and Rohit Shukla, CEO of Larta institute, a Los Angeles-based organization that seeks to assist “the transformation of technology ideas into solutions.”

Read More

Showcase Presenter SynShark Seeks to Raise $500,000

By March 9, 2017 Companies

SynShark presented at the 2016 Ag Innovation Showcase.

Coastal startup SynShark seeks to raise $500,000

SynShark LLC, a bioscience company developing a method to extract specialty chemicals from tobacco, plans to raise $500,000 using debt and stock options.

SynShark manager Jason M. Ornstein filed a Form D disclosing the sale on March 2.

So far, one investor has bought $213,000 of the offering, which began Jan. 27. The company expects this offering to last less than a year.

Investors may purchase a portion of the remaining $287,000 offer with a minimum investment of $20,000.

The company did not disclose its intentions for the funds, except that $50,000 of the proceeds will go to the executive officers, directors or promoters.

SynShark is developing a method for extracting squalene from tobacco. Squalene is typically derived from shark livers and used in vaccines and cosmetics. The company founded in 2013 and employs less than 20 people at its only location in Leland, North Carolina.

Note: This story is from the North Carolina Business News Wire, a service of UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Media and Journalism


We are reading: Newbean Capital’s White Paper on Developing Policy for Indoor Agriculture

By March 8, 2017 Recommendations

Newbean Capital and Upgrown Farming Co. have written a white paper on why policymakers should focus on indoor agriculture and how in can be incorporated into policy on  local, national and supranational levels.

Excerpt from Developing Policy for Indoor Agriculture

As a new industry develops, it reaches a tipping point where it can no longer operate under the radar and where its incorporation into the policy frameworks that govern most economies is key to it flourishing. Indoor agriculture – the practice of growing crops and raising fish in soilless systems in warehouses, greenhouses and containers – has reached that tipping point, becoming an increasingly important part of the global food supply chain. Read More