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March 16, 2015
Northwest Missouri State University and its Dean L Hubbard Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) have entered into a 10-year collaborative agreement with Australian-based Integrated Animal Health Inc. (IAH) to conduct trials on production animals to improve herd health.
Representatives of the University and IAH gathered Monday at the Hubbard CIE to formally announce the agreement and sign an “Intent of Cooperation.” Rob Neely, the founder and chief executive officer of IAH; Dr. Blake Hawley, president and chief executive officer of the company’s American operations; and Shane Svenson, Australian chairman of the company’s board, were on hand for the announcement.
In addition to the University’s proximity to IAH’s newly announced global headquarters in the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor, Northwest and IAH leaders acknowledged their shared interests in science, animal health and business development as well as the Hubbard CIE’s world-class analytical lab and Northwest’s agriculture resources, which include a dairy farm, as reasons for forging the partnership.
“Members of the Department of Agricultural Sciences, including myself, are tremendously excited to partner and collaborate with Integrated Animal Health,” said Rod Barr, chair of Northwest’s agriculture department. “Our partnership will not only make a difference in the future of the agricultural industry but provide opportunities for our students and faculty members. Conducting trials for Integrated Animal Health at the R.T. Wright University Farm, located north of campus, will give our students the chance to work with cutting edge technologies in real-world, hands-on settings and for that, we’re very grateful.”
Northwest Provost Dr. Timothy Mottet said the partnership will further enhance the University’s emphasis on educating students about the region’s role in animal health and food production.
“Profession based education is something we’ve been doing for a number of years, and I think we do it incredibly well,” Mottet said. “It’s the blending of theories, science and practice. We’re working to bridge the theory and practice so when our students leave here, they’re prepared to enter the workforce and make a significant contribution on day one. This level of involvement is going to help our students do that.”
IAH has developed natural feed inclusion technologies to help improve mastitis control and fertility rates, decrease antibiotic use in dairy cattle, improve weight gain in dairy calves and feedlot cattle, and institute other technologies deigned to impact both swine and dairy herds through gender selection applications.
Additionally, the company has launched a range of performance supplements into the thoroughbred racehorse industry that target health and speed. Trials conducted at Northwest and its Hubbard CIE are planned to show efficacy in live weight gain in animals such as beef cattle, sheep, swine, poultry and aquaculture.
Neeley said that, after a meeting with Barr and Hubbard CIE Director Larry Lee last fall, he became impressed with the passion for student success exhibited at Northwest and the discovery of a synergy that will serve IAH well.
“It means you’ve got soul, and not all universities have soul,” Neeley said. “They all have faculty and students, but not all of them have soul, and I can feel the soul from both ends of this University. I wanted a 10-year relationship so that we give the students the chance to work with this cutting-edge technology.”
Hawley added, “We’re hoping that, in conjunction with (Northwest), we’re going to give the students something that is very meaningful in their careers, something that – the minute they walk out the door – they can say, ‘Well, you know what, I’ve actually done that. I know what that’s like from the business perspective, from an agricultural perspective and from a health perspective.’”
Maryville City Manager Greg McDanel also was on hand for the announcement and said he recognizes the important opportunities the partnership will afford Northwest students and the impacts it will have on economic development.
“As a former student at Northwest Missouri State University, I personally benefited from real-world applications in the classroom,” McDanel said. “With this transformative partnership, students over the next 10 years at Northwest will benefit from the company’s presence at the CIE, from refining those technologies and actually using those technologies directly in the field.”
Emily McVey, manager of bioscience development for the Kansas City Area Development Council, of which Northwest is a member, also welcomed IAH to the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor. McVey noted the region is home to more than 300 animal health companies that represent the single largest concentration of animal health assets in the world. Furthermore, companies located within the corridor represent 56 percent of total worldwide animal health, diagnostics and pet food sales.
“The animal health corridor and its companies pride themselves on the networks and partnerships that are created and cultivated here, and today’s announcement is a wonderful example of those partnerships and helps the animal health corridor remain one of the most esteemed and admired organizations and concentrations within the animal health world.”
The Hubbard CIE is designated a Missouri Innovation Center and was ranked last year by University Business Incubator (UBI) Index at No. 21 in the University Global Top 25 Rankings, a survey of more than 300 incubators in 67 countries.
Located on the north edge of the Northwest campus, the CIE is a mixed-use incubator with emphasis on technology-based, start-up companies. It also provides assistance to existing small businesses and encourages development of new small businesses. The 46,679 square-foot facility includes three lab analysis research areas, a shared scientific instrument room and 9,000 square feet of tenant office space, while the academic wing contains more than 16,000 square feet of highly specialized teaching and research labs and offices.
The facility is positioned within a two-hour driving radius of Kansas City, Des Moines and Omaha, providing companies with access to more than 1.5 million people. At the same time, companies located at the CIE enjoy the benefits of a consistently strong work-ethic and business friendly environment in a smaller rural setting.
For more information about Integrated Animal Health, visit www.integrated-animal-health.com. More information about the Hubbard CIE is available at www.nwmissouri.edu/cie/.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
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