39 North Innovation District Plan Unveiled
The Science in Our Food
(WIRED) European Ruling Could Slow Africa’s Push For Crispr Crops Many European scientists cheered back in January when it seemed the court of the European Union would ease its restrictions on gene-editing technology in food.
Thursday, July 26, 2018 READ MORE
(St. Louis Public Radio) Brookings touts agtech cluster in St. Louis After two decades of building, the region’s agricultural technology cluster is poised to take off
(EQ) From Science Research To IoT Device Design: Plant Analytics Startup Grows With Arch Grants Dr. Nadia Shakoor is pioneering the future of agriculture and plant research with an IoT-enabled phenotyping and data collection device. She opens up about her debut in the business world.
Thursday, June 28, 2018 READ MORE
(Modern Agriculture) The Future of Food and Farming Agriculture in 2050: Big Challenges, Bigger Dreams
Friday, June 15, 2018 READ MORE
(Innovation City) Dr. Jim Carrington on Innovation City Innovation City gives you an inside look at how rapidly business and culture are changing thanks to increasing diversity and inclusion
Tuesday, June 12, 2018 READ MORE
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch) Banners tout St. Louis County's new 39 North agricultural technology district Banners attached to streetlight poles were added Tuesday along Olive Boulevard for 39 North
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch) Sugarcane research company to open North American headquarters in St. Louis The world’s largest sugarcane technology company selects BRDG Park
Wednesday, May 2, 2018 READ MORE
CTC Genomics selects St. Louis as the site of its North American research headquarters Brazilian Ag Bio Firm Specializes in Sugarcane
(New York Times) How a Rose Blooms: Its Genome Reveals the Traits for Scent and Color Study marks a new “democratization” of plant research resulting from more widely available, affordable and detailed genome sequencing
Monday, April 30, 2018 READ MORE
(St. Louis Business Journal) Danforth Center to take discoveries to market with new hire Don MacKenzie is tasked overseeing the regulatory processes to bring the Danforth Center's technologies to market.
Friday, April 13, 2018 READ MORE
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch) 39 North plant science district gets trail, road planning funds Plans are in motion to rework roads and improve incubator space
Friday, March 2, 2018 READ MORE
(Ag Professional) The Future of Ag Tech in the Midwest
The development of new technology in agriculture has helped encourage young people
Tuesday, February 20, 2018 READ MORE
(Agri-Pulse) Who is leading the charge for new precision breeding tools?
Plenty of precision breeding innovation
(St. Louis Public Radio) St. Louis plant scientists use podcast to dig deep into the struggles of research
Researchers Liz Haswell and Ivan Baxter spend most their time trying to understand how plants function.
Monday, January 8, 2018 READ MORE
(HEC-TV) New Smart Crop-Monitoring Platform Alerts Farmers & Growers About Their Crops
Researchers at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center have created a crop phenotyping station called the PheNode.
Wednesday, January 3, 2018 READ MORE
(KMOX) C-Speak Podcast: Sam Fiorello
Mark Reardon talks with Sam Fiorello on the C-Speak Podcast, the language of executives by KMOX
Friday, December 29, 2017 READ MORE
(Talking Biotech Podcast) Control of Aflatoxin in Groundnut
Dilip Shah and a team of researchers worked to devise a multi-faceted plan to protect groundnut from fungal infections.
Saturday, December 23, 2017 READ MORE
(MIT Technology Review) These Are Not Your Father's GMOS
A new wave of gene-edited crops are dodging regulators, and they're about to reach stores.
Thursday, December 21, 2017 READ MORE
New Hire to Advance Human Resources
Danforth Center Welcomes Anna Dibble
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 READ MORE
(Forbes) Collaboration Provides Hope In The Battle Against Mycotoxin Induced Cancer In The Developing World
There is new hope for a solution to this vexing health issue based on a recent collaboration between groups of scientists in the US and in India.
Saturday, November 4, 2017 READ MORE
(AgFunder News) Is St. Louis the Silicon Valley of Agtech?
St. Louis has worked hard to be a magnet for Fortune 500 companies. Nine members of this elite class call the city home, not the least of which is multinational agricultural giant Monsanto.
Thursday, November 2, 2017 READ MORE
DuPont Pioneer and Danforth Center Collaborate to Apply Cutting-Edge Technologies to Improve Crops for Smallholder Farmers
The suite of technologies DuPont Pioneer is providing to the project is revolutionary
Tuesday, October 17, 2017 READ MORE
National Science Foundation Funds Multi-Institutional Project to Improve Harvests of One of the Most Important Crops in U.S. Agriculture
Danforth Center Receives $3.4M to Improve Maize Architecture
Wednesday, October 11, 2017 READ MORE
U.S. Department of Energy Awards Danforth Center $16M to Enhance Sorghum for Bioenergy A multi-institutional research effort aims to optimize photosynthesis and water use efficiency
Monday, October 2, 2017 READ MORE
TechAccel Invests in Unique Sprayable RNAi Pesticide Technology First “Path to Commercialization” Grant Awarded to Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Monday, September 11, 2017 READ MORE
Why a St. Louis event could be one of agtech’s biggest disruptors: 4 questions with Bayer's R&D head
Monday marks the start of the ninth annual Ag Innovation Showcase.
Monday, September 11, 2017 READ MORE
The Future of Agriculture is Center Stage at Ag Innovation Showcase
Bees, new food sources and machine learning are leading trends
Thursday, August 31, 2017 READ MORE
(St. Louis Business Journal) Greitens touts Israeli relationship as economic generator
St. Louis is already home to a number of Israeli-founded companies that have moved to the area thanks to GlobalSTL, an initiative started and organized by BioSTL several years ago.
Wednesday, August 16, 2017 READ MORE
Analysis Linking Field and Controlled Environments Reveals Key Traits Controlling Height
Discovery could help improve yield in food and bioenergy crops
Monday, July 10, 2017 READ MORE
The Danforth Center’s Infographics serve as an additional resource on a variety of topics showcasing data, factual information and detailed visuals.
Danforth Center scientists are regularly interviewed and featured in the media as expert sources on a variety of topics. Read about the Danforth Center in the news. News of their discoveries is regularly highlighted in news releases and in our publications.
The Danforth Center Office of Public Affairs is available to set up interviews with Danforth Center scientists and assist in developing story ideas about their research.
Quick facts about the Danforth Plant Science Center.
Discover more about our research and community.
Brief summary of Danforth Center scientists.
Brief video tours of our facilities.
In a new report, Rethinking Cluster Initiatives, from the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, argues that initiatives to support and grow industry clusters remain a potentially powerful strategy to jumpstart local economic growth, but only if certain market and civic fundamentals are in place. In the report, agriculture technology in St. Louis is cited as a successful model and national case study.
Co-authors, Ryan Donahue, Brookings fellow and Joseph Parilla, and Brookings nonresident senior fellow Brad McDearman, reviewed the concept of industry clusters—groups of firms that gain a competitive advantage through local proximity and interdependence—and offers practical guidance for metropolitan leaders considering investments in cluster initiatives, drawing on five in-depth case studies. The report illustrates that initiatives to support and grow industry clusters remain a potentially powerful strategy to jumpstart local economic growth, but only if certain market and civic fundamentals are in place.
“The Brookings Institution is one of the finest think tank policy analysis organizations in the in the world, and I was really pleased that it shines a spotlight on the region’s strength in ag innovation and commercialization and how the Danforth Plant Science Center has been a driver in the effort. Much of the credit goes to Dr. Danforth, whose passion and dedication brought together community leaders that gave of their time, energy and resources,” said Sam Fiorello, Chief Operating Officer, Danforth Plant Science Center and President of BRDG Park.
"At a time when a few elite coastal metro areas seem to be solidifying their hold on the most innovative, high-growth sectors of the economy, regions across the U.S. are under more pressure than ever to figure out how they can secure a foothold in the next economy,” said co-author Ryan Donahue of the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings Institution. “St. Louis offers a model for how to do so: for nearly two decades, it has patiently and collaboratively made strategic investments in the capital, facilities, and skills that its agriculture technology cluster needs. These investments have made St. Louis a better place to start and grow an ag-tech firm, put the region on the radar of global firms and talent, and positioned it as a leader in solving the global challenge of creating more sustainable food sources."
St. Louis is home to more than 800 plant science Ph.D. scientists. While post-doctoral researchers are the core, the cluster also relies heavily on a range of other skills, from lab technicians to regulatory experts, economists, and experienced CEOs. It also incorporates finance, insurance, and law firms and specialized facilities like research-grade greenhouses, microscopy, proteomics, tissue culture, and powerful computers for bioinformatics. Crucially, there are also experts that run the equipment, available on a fee-for-service, just-in-time basis, so firms can easily scale up their space, engage with experts, and establish proof of concept. The state’s broader strengths in agriculture–an $88 billion industry supporting over 350,000 jobs–are highly relevant to the cluster.
Each year from 2010 to 2014 approximately 11 new agtech companies were founded in the region. In 2016, 39 North, a new 600-acre innovation district surrounding the Danforth Center, BRDG Park, Helix incubator, Yield Lab accelerator and Monsanto was launched and several infrastructure projects are underway. The successful Ag Innovation Showcase held annually at the Danforth Center, attracts entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, industry leaders and academics from around the world. The 186 early-stage companies that have been fortunate to present their ideas at the three-day conference have attracted more than $1 Billion in capital post showcase.
Creating a successful industry cluster can take decades to evolve, and requires investment and patience from community leaders, citizens and government and the payoff can often be a long way down the road.
“We are in the beginning of that payoff phase and I think it is incumbent upon us as community to double down and on the investment that was made 25 years ago - to be aggressive and grow this innovation cluster which is providing quality jobs and critical solutions to the global challenges facing humanity,” Fiorello stated.
The report’s significance is presented through this infographic.
| St. Louissam fiorelloBrookingsAgtech ClusterAg innovation showcase39 North