Newswise — Dr. William H. Danforth, founding chairman of the Danforth Center, had a vision for St. Louis as a bioscience and agriculture innovation ecosystem. That vision has never been more realized than it is at the present, as our innovation ecosystem is having a major impact on our economy while also doing good for the planet. Between 2013 and 2019, St. Louis-based bioscience companies raised over 70% of all capital invested in St. Louis startups. Each year, the Danforth Center, BRDG Park, and Helix Center alone generate $377M in economic impact. Recently, there have been many reasons to celebrate our St. Louis ag and food innovation ecosystem.
Recent News from the St. Louis AgTech Community
- Benson Hill officially became a publicly traded company. Todd Mockler, PhD, Danforth Center Principal Investigator, joined the Benson Hill team at the New York Stock Exchange to ring the opening bell.
- The Danforth Center was awarded a $1.5M U.S. Economic Development Administration Build To Scale program grant to lead a new Center for AgTech and Applied Location Science and Technology (CATALST) in partnership with BioSTL and T-REX.
- CoverCress won a Phase II USDA-NIFA award to create disease-resistant pennycress. CoverCress was one of three only three awards in the Plant Production and Protection - Biology category. Tim Ulmasov, Chief Technology Officer at CoverCress, said the funding provided by their participation in the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator helped to propel the project to become eligible for Phase II USDA funding.
- Pluton Biosciences shares their story about how participation in the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator program and collaborative research with Dr. Toni Kutchan has generated a deeper understanding of how three novel bacteria work to kill disease-carrying mosquitoes.
- TechAccel expanded their facilities in St. Louis by moving to the BRDG Park campus. The new space provides TechAccel’s growing science team with room for operations, including space for its subsidiary, RNAissance Ag LLC, co-founded by Danforth Center scientist Bala Venkata, PhD.
Capital, Talent, Facilities, and Networks
Our St. Louis innovation ecosystem is successful because it has all of the right ingredients: research institutes, infrastructure, investors, talent, networks, access to industry associations and customers. Within a 500 mile radius of the region, 50 percent of US agriculture is produced. In fact, agtech companies are choosing to relocate to 39 North to leverage our resources to accelerate their success. See who is a part of the St. Louis ag and food ecosystem for yourself: