Heartland Plant Innovations (HPI) has been awarded $2.5 million in funding from the Kansas Bioscience Authority (KBA) for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2012. HPI will utilize this funding to continue its mission of accelerating research, development, and commercialization of profitable innovations in the market performance of wheat and sorghum. As with other KBA awards, funding is tied to HPI's achievement of key milestones during the months ahead.
HPI was founded in 2009 with start-up support from the Life Science Center of Innovation Program of the KBA.
"This funding will allow HPI to continue the exciting research that we have advanced over the last 3 years. We are confident that this work will result in commercialization of valuable new products," said Forrest Chumley, Ph.D., President and CEO of HPI. "We are appreciative of the KBA's confidence in HPI and are confident that this investment will result in a large payback to the Kansas economy."
HPI provides customers with advanced plant breeding services and high-value genetic traits. HPI produces, on a fee-for-service basis, wheat doubled haploid lines (DH) for breeders and geneticists. HPI has produced and sold nearly 15,000 doubled haploids to 10 universities, 3 USDA laboratories, and 2 private companies over the last 20 months. Upon its completion in December 2012, HPI will move into the state-of-the-art Kansas Wheat Innovation Center which will provide HPI with the capacity to produce up to 50,000 doubled haploid lines per year. This new facility will firmly position Heartland Plant Innovations as the heartland's leader in meeting global wheat needs and leverage the State of Kansas' commitment to agriculture and leadership in business.
HPI is engaged in active partnerships with academic research institutions and industry leaders in trait discovery and advancement. "I think it's great we now have capacity for DH production for our program via HPI," said Scott Haley, Professor of Plant Breeding and Wheat Breeder, Colorado State University. "Through investments from Colorado wheat growers, we are now implementing DH with advanced breeding technologies such as genomic selection. We are optimistic that using these technologies will help us make even greater advances in the future."
As a research partner HPI is sponsoring multiple research programs at Kansas State University focused on wheat. These projects are seeking to increase the yields and end use performance of wheat, based on input from their industry partners.
For additional information on this funding and other KBA funding awarded recently see http://www.kansasbioauthority.org/press-releases/kansas-bioscience-autho....
For additional information on the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center see http://www.heartlandinnovations.com/about-us/kansas-wheat-innovation-center.