COLUMBIA, Mo., Oct. 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Academy of Inventors (NAI), which supports innovation at learning institutes, has partnered with the University of Missouri (MU) to offer a rare glimpse behind the academic curtain of scientific discovery.
In a co-produced video, From Campus to Commerce, NAI and MU share the little-known story of how scientists Fu-Hung Hsieh and Harold Huff created a plant-based meat alternative in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources in 2010.
That innovation led to the creation of the market-hit Beyond Meat, a start-up company founded in 2009 that supplies meat-alternative protein products sold to a variety of restaurants and stores such as McDonald's, Dunkin' and most recently, KFC.
The video debuted today at Beyond Innovation, an annual faculty recognition event — highlighting faculty with new patents, licensed technologies and startups — hosted by MU Chancellor Alexander N. Cartwright, NAI Fellow, and Vice Chancellor for Research Mark A. McIntosh. NAI chose MU to host today's kickoff on its main campus due to the university's past successes in supporting early-stage innovations
"This discovery in our labs was significant because it leverages plant-based proteins and simultaneously addresses the global demand for food," said Cartwright. "In addition to being a key part of a major startup company, this is just another example of how MU is changing the world. We are proud to help launch this national campaign to make the public even more aware of the groundbreaking research and innovation that occurs every day at the University of Missouri as part of our mission to serve society."
NAI Board Member and Fellow, Robert Duncan, Ph.D. participated at the innovation event to offer insight on NAI and MU's partnership as well as the reason for the campaign's genesis. "NAI's mission is to inspire, encourage and honor academic discovery at our member institutions. These scientists, like Hsieh and Huff, are visionaries working away in labs to uncover solutions to some of the most challenging issues facing society today,"
"While the public knows about the commercial product that resulted from our scientists' work, the lesser known story is the fundamental research that was completed years before this was possible," McIntosh said. "Every piece of technology, medical breakthrough and nutrition discovery starts with basic research inventions and innovations. Through persistence from our faculty and staff and with the important financial support from the public and investors, these technologies now are available in the marketplace."
NAI plans to add more video 'episodes' to showcase similar work happening at other member institutions. "People benefit from early-discovery products every day," Duncan offered, "But they don't know anything about the scientists who created it. The world needs to see where these solutions are coming from and give academics support to keep discovering. We want to give the public access to the discovery lab. We want to tell that story."
See the video now: https://usf.box.com/s/2cv4jdmw4hjx61qhdhjcmpq8g5d80eex
About the National Academy of Inventors
The National Academy of Inventors is a member organization comprising U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutes, with over 4,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 250 institutions worldwide. It was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society. The NAI works collaboratively with the USPTO and publishes the multidisciplinary journal, Technology and Innovation. www.academyofinventors.org.
About the University of Missouri
Through research, learning, engagement and economic development, the University of Missouri (MU) creates solutions that solve the grand challenges facing Missouri and the world. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, MU translates the latest research into practical applications to improve people's lives and grow Missouri's economy. Mizzou has an estimated $3.9 billion impact on the Missouri economy and $210 million in annual research expenditures. As the state's flagship university, MU has more than 300 degree programs and more than 30,000 students enrolled at Mizzou.
Media Contact: Jody Santoro
SOURCE National Academy of Inventors