CSU study: Front Range emerging as growing innovation cluster for agriculture sector

By: InnovatioNews Monday November 24, 2014 0 comments Tags: Colorado Front Range, CSU, Fort Collins, Gregory Graff, Kathay Rennels


FORT COLLINS - A new study by Colorado State University reveals the pace of innovation in agriculture and closely related industries, including water management, animal health and food production, is picking up in the state.

The study, "The Emergence of an Innovation Cluster in the Agricultural Value Chain Along Colorado's Front Range," identifies innovation trends and factors that position the Front Range for the emergence and growth of an innovation-led industry cluster in the ag and food system, CSU said.

"Innovators in an increasingly integrated agriculture-water-food-beverage-bioenergy innovation ecosystem are gathering and growing along Colorado's Front Range, creating next-generation technologies and business models to nourish, refresh and energize the world," said Gregory Graff, the study's lead author and associate professor in CSU's Agricultural and Resource Economics department.

"As the industry's value chain becomes increasingly complex, it is more important for innovators to coordinate with their suppliers and buyers when introducing new technologies or products," Graff said.

"Geographic co-location - clustering - enables them to coordinate more effectively. The Front Range is proving an ideal region for this dynamic to take off."

Kathay Rennels, study co-author and CSU's associate VP for engagement, said innovation provides many opportunities for Colorado agriculture and industry.

"It creates new opportunities for investment," she said. "It opens up opportunities for new kinds of jobs for our younger generation. We have such a fertile region in which to cultivate innovation as the 'new crop' for Colorado agriculture."

The study looks at who is innovating in agriculture and food-related industries within the state by seeing where scientific publications and U.S. patents are originating within Colorado.

A full copy of the study is available at http://outreach.colostate.edu/econ-dev/cluster.html.

The authors will present the study at The National Western Partners Breakfast on Jan. 17.

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