The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI), Saint Paul, Minn., announced its 2019 research topics, which serve as categories of exploration to guide the organization’s innovation and product development initiatives for the coming year.

Selected themes are categorized into three distinct groups—co-products/bio-based/renewable energy, multi-disciplinary and food development.

Co-products/bio-based/renewable energy themes. AURI works to identify higher value uses and applications for agricultural co-products through an examination process involving applied research, technical assessment and public outreach. Furthering success through this work is universally advantageous to Minnesota’s economy, as it can result in less waste as well as new food, feed and fertilizer products plus a wide range of bio-based products that can benefit producers, processors and end users.

Specific areas include industrial applications of bio-based products, innovative utilization of co-products, monetizing and mitigating agriculture and processing waste streams.

Multi-disciplinary themes. AURI works to amass knowledge that can be leveraged by many different partners and stakeholders. This multi-faceted approach to information gathering and dispersion generates exponential benefit, advancing an untold number of entrepreneurial ventures.

Specific themes include developing Minnesota’s industrial hemp processing industry, exploring value-added uses for cover crops and perennials.

Food themes. AURI works to identify solutions for businesses to better meet the growing demand for convenient, wholesome and safe food by an increasingly complex consumer market. Helping Minnesota businesses navigate the evolving food landscape is achieved by assisting clients with new products and processes to take their ideas to commercial reality.

Specific themes include the nexus of food, health and wellness, exploring traditional and alternative protein sources, creating an environment for scalable food businesses.

“AURI generates positive impacts for the agricultural community through its experience and first-hand knowledge of what drives change and opportunity in the industry. The ideation and exploration of research themes furthers our organization’s mission and advance future endeavors,” says Jennifer Wagner-Lahr, senior director of innovation and commercialization. “Stakeholders and partners have plenty to look forward to in the coming year, as the intelligence gained through these applied research areas enhances our capability to serve as the leading value-added agricultural and business resource within the state.”