SEDCOR + AgLaunch: Pacific Northwest Regional Innovation Cluster
New Pacific Northwest Regional Innovation Cluster to Focus on Food and Agriculture
A new Pacific Northwest Regional Innovation Cluster (RIC) funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will focus on growing small businesses and catalyzing innovation and technologies in the agriculture and food sectors.
Formation of the new RIC was announced by managing partners AgLaunch Engine, a for-profit ag innovation consultancy and SEDCOR, an economic development organization focused on the Willamette Valley in Oregon.
“We are excited to expand our partnership with AgLaunch and build on our work with the Economic Development Administration and local funders into this opportunity with SBA,” said Erik Andersson, President of SEDCOR. “Agriculture is the foundation of a Willamette Valley economy which includes a variety of industries like food and beverage processing, logistics, and machinery and equipment manufacturing. The RIC funding will allow us to continue and expand resources targeting our diverse agricultural supply chain.”
“The SBA funding will allow us to expand AgLaunch’s farmer-led, open innovation model in a way that leverages the unique attributes of food and ag production in Oregon and across the Pacific Northwest,” said Pete Nelson, President of AgLaunch.
RICs are geographically-concentrated networks of small businesses, suppliers, service providers, and related institutions that work together to maximize efficiencies, drive innovation and create jobs. The new Pacific Northwest RIC is comprised primarily of Marion, Polk, and Yamhill in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, but will also serve as the primary point of contact for pilot projects, and connectivity with additional Oregon counties and across the Pacific Northwest.
SBA funding of $1.6 million over five years will be used to provide technical assistance, business development programming and other resources to support ag innovation in the Pacific Northwest. The funding will also help support and expand AgLaunch’s farmer network, where participating farmers field-test new technologies in exchange for equity ownership in ag tech startup companies.
Food and ag-related small businesses, entrepreneurs, and organizations interested in connecting with the new Pacific Northwest Regional Innovation Cluster should contact SEDCOR at firstname.lastname@example.org or (503)588-6225.
In addition to the Pacific Northwest, AgLaunch operates SBA recognized RICs in the Mid-South and Southern Appalachia as well as regional initiatives in the Mid-West and Southern Plains. For more information about AgLaunch visit www.aglaunch.com.