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Governor Perdue Launches the Agriculture Center of Innovation

Thursday, August 12, 2004  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Announcement in Tifton Brings Together Universities, Private Industry, Local Farmers

TIFTON, GA - Governor Sonny Perdue announced today the creation of the state's third center of innovation, the NESPAL (National Environmentally Sound Production Agriculture Laboratory) Technology Development Center and Center of Innovation in Tifton. 

"I'm committed to creating jobs and economic opportunity for all Georgians and that means rural economic development is a priority," said Governor Sonny Perdue.  "This public-private-university partnership will foster the development of innovative equipment, processes, and other technologies that will keep Georgia agriculture competitive and growing in the 21st Century."

Researchers from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, the University of Georgia, and the Georgia Institute of Technology will collaborate to develop new solutions for agribusiness.  Private corporate sponsors who join the center will be able to leverage that research and work with local farmers to give these solutions practical evaluations.  In addition to the center's research function, a dedicated entrepreneur outreach specialist with expertise in small business and agribusiness will work throughout the region to provide technical expertise and access to state resources.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is working to recruit member companies to the center and create the collaborative environment that will drive technology research and development.

"By bringing our state's intellectual capital together with our most promising industries, we are creating great value throughout the state," said GDEcD Commissioner Craig Lesser.  "As these centers grow, we will not only become known as a leader in these industries but as an innovative, forward-thinking state."

Georgia's centers of innovation strategy, launched by Governor Perdue in 2003, focuses on the development of centers of excellence in the areas of aerospace, biosciences, digital media, logistics, medical technology, precision agriculture, and transaction processing.  By leveraging Georgia's homegrown industries, the state will be able to create new jobs, increase investment, and ensure long-term economic opportunity.