MNSOY 2023

Scaling Innovation – Oilseed Crop Pressing, Workforce Training,
and New Uses

Open Innovation Challenge: 

For decades, the agriculture industry has invested millions into new value-added crops and processing. The Ag Innovation Campus seeks partnerships, ideas and input on advancing scale-up infrastructure enhancements, trainings, programs, virtual offerings and innovation resources that would positively impact entrepreneurial efforts to overcome the “Valley of Death” and scale new oilseed crops and new uses that leverage this unique facility and vision. 

Reason for Seeking External Innovation Partnership:

For decades, the agriculture industry has invested millions into new value-added crops and processing. The issue that stopped most of these ventures from ever thriving was the struggle to prove commercialization scale ideas – the so-called “Valley of Death,” that dreaded place between benchtop and full commercialization.
Organizations possessing cutting-edge processing technologies and crops with potential new value often struggle to find cost effective locations to run trials and further incubate their value-added efforts. At the same time, it’s nearly impossible for today’s large grain and oil seed processing facilities to stop production and clean out their equipment to test the viability of new and differing crops that today’s end consumer demands.
Additionally, locations are not available for global customers to see American ingenuity firsthand, and few first-class processors are designed for tours.
Finally, educating, developing, and training the next generation of processing professionals and operators is urgently needed as new crush facilities come online across the country.
The Ag Innovation Campus aims to excel in bridging these industry gaps with onsite resources and virtual capabilities. From global to local, all will be welcome at the Ag Innovation Campus to learn about today’s state-of-the-art processing and to dream about how it can be even better.

Solutions Not of Interest:

No grain milling (wet/dry) as the focus is current on oilseeds.

Company Background:

In 2018 the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council developed a new concept for how research and development of new uses for agricultural products would need to done differently going forward, thus the idea for the Ag Innovation Campus (AIC) was born. After investing Soybean Checkoff dollars to develop a full business plan for how the AIC would operate, a 10-acre site has identified near Crookston, MN to locate the Ag Innovation Campus. This campus would provide a location and resources to incubate other agricultural industry innovations under a mission of using soybeans to create new and novel products, jobs and have a positive impact on the regional economy. Further, it would provide an opportunity for return on the MSR&PC’s investments on soybean innovations over the past three decades.