Auburn, Kansas State to host animal health and nutrition forum

Published: May 18, 2015
Updated: May 19, 2015
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The Association of University Technology Managers, or AUTM, has selected two U.S. universities to host a forum that is expected to bring together more than 20 universities and 30 national companies to discuss early-stage innovation coming out of university research; share ideas about unmet market needs; and discuss research opportunities in animal health, nutrition and diagnostics.

Auburn University and Kansas State University have formed a partnership to bring the AUTM Animal Health and Nutrition Partnering Forum to Kansas City on Sept. 1-2. The event will be held at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown and is open to research institutions and companies in these industries.

By bringing researchers and companies together, the forum helps to encourage relationships that lead to technology transfer, or the process by which companies gain commercialization rights to university inventions.

Bret Ford, director of business development for the animal sector and associate director of licensing for the Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization, has helped to organize a similar technology transfer event in Kansas City since 2010. With support and branding from AUTM, Kansas State and Auburn are now able to move that smaller event into a larger national and international meeting.

According to Ford, innovations in animal health and nutrition will be critical to the world's ability to provide enough safe, high-quality animal protein to the world's population, which is expected to reach 9.6 billion people by the year 2050.

"Universities will need to be an increasing source of new innovation to help meet this growing demand," he said.

According to Brian Wright, associate director for commercialization at Auburn's Office of Innovation Advancement and Commercialization, the AUTM Partnering Forum format is ideal for this industry.

"It's a very collaborative field," Wright said. "And hosting it in Kansas City next to other established animal health events will help us leverage and build upon a critical mass of decision makers, this year and possibly on an ongoing basis."

In late summer, the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor is hosting the Central Veterinary Conference, Animal Health Investment Forum, Animal Health Research Symposium, and the Homecoming Dinner.

AUTM is a leading international association for technology transfer professionals, with thousands of members from universities and companies. Ford noted that this partnership falls closely in line with Kansas State's 2025 Vision to provide high-quality research, education and engagement to improve people's well-being.

More information, including registration, is available at