The Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) Innovation Hub for AgBio translates research into the commercial market by way of a license or startup.
Accelerating commercial development, eligible MTRAC AgBio research relate to food, fuel & fiber, either as inputs or outputs. This includes bio-derived/bio-based materials, natural resources and animal health. Projects will have shown promise in the laboratory, but need further development to become successful in a competitive market.
All funding decisions are made by an Oversight Committee including entrepreneurs, external industry and venture capital participants.
Ag&Bio MTRAC Oversight Committee Composition
Grant funding decisions under the MTRAC program are made by a group of experts from various technical and commercial disciplines to the AgBio innovation marketplace. While the members of the committee change over time, the composition of the includes at least 3 members from each of the following categories:
- Academic Representatives
These representatives provide expertise related to some of the technical and innovation themes that are covered in the translational research proposals, as well as the nuances of university patent development, licensing and technology transfer. At present, this includes, the Co-Principle Investigators on the MTRAC grant. This includes the Assistant VP for Research and Graduate Studies and the Executive Director or MSU Technologies. In addition, several senior research scientists with decades of experience in technology development also participate in the committee.
- AgBio Venture Capital Investors and Startup Specialists
These representatives provide insight and expertise into the market attractiveness and suitability of emerging translational technologies for the investor and startup marketplace. They provide important input and direction on the growth potential, competitiveness and challenges related to specific technologies and commercialization strategies under consideration. Current participants come from enterprises such as Cultivian Sandbox Ventures, The Yield Lab and a variety of AgBio startups.
- Industry Representatives
Industry participants on the MTRAC Oversight Committee play an important role in evaluating the competitiveness and license potential of technologies being considered for funding. They bring decades of relevant experience from a number of industries relevant to the AgBio marketplace. Current committee members come from major enterprises such as BASF, Corteva, Marquis Energy and others.