Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a new report on scientific breakthroughs discovered by USDA researchers that led to new patents and inventions with the potential for commercial application and potential economic growth. Innovations included in the report range from flour made out of chardonnay grape seeds that prevents weight gain to antimicrobial packets that keep food from spoiling, efforts to protect U.S. troops in Iraq from diseases carried by sand flies, new processes for turning grass clippings and raked leaves into bioenergy, and many more.
"Studies have shown that every dollar invested in agricultural research returns $20 to the economy. We have accelerated commercialization of federal research and government researchers are working closely with the private sector to develop new technology and transfer it to the marketplace," said Secretary Vilsack. "USDA has a proven track record of performing research that benefits the public."
USDA reports receiving 51 patents, filing 147 patent applications, and disclosing 180 new inventions in the last fiscal year, which are detailed in the Department's 2013 Annual Report on Technology Transfer released today. Helping drive these innovations, USDA has 259 active Cooperative Research and Development Agreements with outside investigators, which includes Universities and other organizations, including 117 with small businesses. The USDA's technology transfer program is administered by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency.