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Continued: CommonBond CEO Fate will leave after seven productive years

  • Article by: NEAL ST. ANTHONY , Star Tribune
  • Last update: January 25, 2014 - 4:38 PM

Biofuel supporters in Minnesota say they have collected 7,000 letters from farmers and others opposing a federal proposal to scale back the ethanol mandate in the nation’s fuel supply.

The letter-writing campaign was organized by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, which is lobbying against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to cap the 2014 ethanol blending requirement at 13 billion gallons instead of 14.4 billion anticipated under a 2007 law.

The EPA is accepting comments on the proposal until Tuesday. In proposing a reduced mandate, the agency cited obstacles to expanding ethanol beyond the 10 percent “blend wall” and other factors.

Corn-state politicians also are lining up against the proposal, including Minnesota Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and Reps. Collin Peterson, Tim Walz and Rick Nolan.

U of M furthers technology partnerships

The University of Minnesota is expanding the Minnesota Innovation Partnerships program to provide easier access to already developed U technologies and solutions.

Since 2011, the program, now called MN-IP Create, streamlines the process of sponsoring research and licensing intellectual property and attempts to establish “industry-friendly terms” up front, granting companies an exclusive worldwide license to the resulting IP. To date, MN-IP Create has resulted in 83 partnerships to develop products and services across industries including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, according to the U last week. The industry partners range from small Minnesota start-ups to large multinational companies.

As part of the MN-IP program expansion, the U is introducing MN-IP Try and Buy, to provide a low-cost, low-risk method to determine the commercial potential behind existing university-developed technologies. Companies may take available technologies for a “test-run” under a low-cost or free agreement to analyze technology under pre-negotiated licensing terms for a trial period without incurring any U.S. patent costs until a patent issues, and without paying royalties on the first $1 million in revenue. More information:

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  • The Minnesota Corn Growers Association, based in Shakopee, stacked up 7,000 letters it solicited from farmers and others opposing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plan to scale back the ethanol fuel-blending mandate. The EPA comment period on the proposal ends Tuesday.

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