Progress 09/01/17 to 08/31/18
Target Audience:AAT's primary audience are U.S. corn seed companies. We have had contact regarding our technology with almost every major seed company, including those with international operations. Actual results have been reported to 5 companies under confidentiality agreements. Significant interest has been expressed and we had 3 pilot customers this summer to get a first look at the technology. Changes/Problems:There have been no major changes to the work-plan and objectives. There have been minor changes, such as altering the "packet" size for pollen scaling. For example, we anticipated 100ml packets of pollen for preservation, but we actually preserved 500 ml packets of pollen in our final protocol in the summer 2018 demonstrations. Other similar modification were enacted, but the major course of the project is as dictated in the proposal. What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?This work has provided tremendous training to both our own employees and also the employees of our customers in protocols for scaled pollen preservation and handling. The ultimate goal is to transfer the tech to the seed companies and earn revenue via technology licensing. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?Reports have been communicated in person via ppt persentations to our pilot customers as well as potential new customers for 2019. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?Based on 2018 results, we have identified two major technical barriers to reaching the true potential of our technology, which will be our focus over the next reporting period. We will use a similar model with pilot customers in 2019 to ultimately lead to full commercialization in 2020. 1. Improving the targeting of the pollen to the female (silks) 2. Improving the health of the preserved pollen in scaled up protocols compared to small scale protocols. In addition there are several other straight-forward improvements to improve the cost-effectiveness of our technology. These will also be a focus, but will consume a minor portion of the budget.
What was accomplished under these goals?
We have made progress on both objectors for Phase II: 1. We have scaled and proven cost-effective pollen preservation methods that are applicable for maize seed production fields of 10 acres or larger. We applied the method to several fields in excess of 100 acres. This was done with our three pilot customers. 2. We applied our scaled up products to about 15 different seed production scenarios, involving at least 10 different commercial inbreds varying in male quality characteristics.