Corporate Affiliates Program invites industry collaboration, innovation, recruitment
Corporate Affiliates Program organizers hope to accelerate scientific discovery and agricultural solutions to grand challenges, making them broadly available through industry. The program also aims to foster career growth and placement of promising graduate students across agricultural enterprises, said Carl Muntean, acting director of Texas A&M AgriLife Corporate Engagement and Research Support.
“The Corporate Affiliates Program represents a mutual opportunity for industry, faculty and students as well as the public beneficiaries of their efforts to grow together in a structured, symbiotic way that benefits everyone involved,” Muntean said.
The program will seek industry collaborators to engage faculty and students within the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
An industry open house to engage with Corporate Affiliates Program leaders, faculty and administrators will be held on Sept. 30.
Collaboration, innovation opportunities for industry
“For industry, interfacing with Texas A&M AgriLife is a chance to leverage the capacities of the largest comprehensive agriculture and life science program in the country,” said Heather Hirsch, Texas A&M AgriLife Corporate Affiliates Program manager.
The entities within Texas A&M AgriLife account for more than 5,000 faculty and staff who conduct research, extension and service initiatives with offices in 250 of Texas’ 254 counties. The National Science Foundation has ranked Texas A&M AgriLife Research No. 1 in agriculture and natural resources research in six of the last seven years.
The agency includes 13 research and extension centers across the state, accounting for all the regional climatic zones of Texas, which represent most types found across the globe.
In addition to a research portfolio of more than $230 million and a doctoral research faculty count of more than 400, Texas A&M AgriLife boasts a robust history of corporate collaboration. The entity currently oversees more than 200 existing license agreements alongside more than 150 companies around the world.
“Our collaborators can develop scientific solutions with the best researchers in the life sciences,” Hirsch said. “They can also engage and recruit from among top graduate talent — students preparing to enter the job market with great skills to contribute to industry.”
She cited more than 1,100 students currently enrolled in more than 40 graduate programs in the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Texas A&M is also first in the U.S. for the number of graduates serving as Fortune 500 CEOs.
“Choosing new talent from among 15 agricultural academic departments is a huge opportunity for companies looking to expand their workforces with skillsets that are unique to their needs,” Hirsch said.
She said a vast disciplinary scope serves as a springboard for the Corporate Affiliate Program to create hyper-custom initiatives that serve the specific missions of a wide range of industrial enterprises.
Industry open house: An opportunity to engage
The Texas A&M AgriLife Corporate Affiliates Program industry open house on Sept. 30 is the first of the program’s events to join forces with national and international industry.
Registration is available at https://tx.ag/capopenhouseregister.
In addition to discussion opportunities with Texas A&M AgriLife administration, faculty and staff, the event will include opening remarks from Patrick J. Stover, Ph.D., vice chancellor of Texas A&M AgriLife, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research.
It will also include interactive discussions with Ron Meeusen, managing director of Cultivian Sandbox and co-founder and managing partner of Cultivian Ventures; Tim Eyrich, vice president for agronomy at FBSciences; Audrey McElroy, Ph.D., interim head, professor and extension specialist for the Texas A&M Department of Poultry Science; and Henry Fadamiro, Ph.D., associate director and chief scientific officer of AgriLife Research.