WASHINGTON, April 23, 2014 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a new report on scientific breakthroughs discovered by USDA researchers that led to new patents and inventions, which are detailed in USDA’s 2013 Annual Report on Technology Transfer released today.

Innovations with the potential for commercial application included in the report range from flour made out of chardonnay grape seeds that prevents weight gain to antimicrobial packets that keep food from spoiling, efforts to protect U.S. troops in Iraq from diseases carried by sand flies, new processes for turning grass clippings and raked leaves into bioenergy.

USDA reports receiving 51 patents, filing 147 patent applications, and disclosing 180 new inventions in the last fiscal year.

The report describes progress in implementing technology initiatives the White House issued the Presidential Memorandum in 2011 for USDA to unify technology transfer across its agencies.

The USDA's technology transfer program is administered by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency.

The 2014 Farm Bill could leverage these initiatives through the new Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research that includes $200 million in public funding and another $200 million from the private sector to support agricultural research.


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