Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

From Lab to Market: Success Factors for Commercializing Agricultural Technologies

Event Date: 
Dec 13, 2017
9:30 am to 11:00 am EST
USAID Bureau for Food Security


Research institutions around the world are developing products to address some of agriculture's most pressing challenges, from weed-resistant seeds to pest-fighting hermetic storage bags. But how can researchers work with the private sector to make sure that products meet the real needs of farmers, and are commercially viable in the market? 

A new report from Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation addresses these questions. "Success Factors for Commercializing Agricultural Research" presents eight key success factors that have helped commercialize products developed by US and international universities and Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Centers.

Join us in person, or online, for this event to learn more about the keys to commercializing agricultural research. Light breakfast provided for those joining in person at the Ronald Reagan Building in downtown Washington, DC; space is limited so register today!


Virginia Sopyla
Sopyla Consulting LLC

Virginia Sopyla of Sopyla Consulting LLC is a consultant focusing on international agricultural development.

Most of her work involves an element of bringing the public and private sectors together to benefit smallholder farmers. Recently, she worked with USAID’s Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation to conduct a study of success factors for commercializing publicly-funded agricultural research. Prior to becoming a consultant, she worked in the cocoa sector for more than 10 years developing and managing public-private partnerships and engaging with a variety of public agricultural research institutions. She holds a masters of public and international affairs in global political economy from the University of Pittsburgh and a bachelors in international affairs from the George Washington University.

Erin McGuire
Associate Director
Feed the Future Horticulture Innovation Lab at UC Davis

Erin McGuire holds a master's degree in International Agricultural Development, with experience in monitoring and evaluation, policy, advocacy, and appropriate technologies.

She previously worked for the National Farm to School Network, the CA&ES International Programs Office, and UC Davis D-Lab

Aviva Kutnick
Agricultural Development Officer
Bureau for Food Security/ USAID

Aviva Kutnick is a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S.

Agency for International Development (USAID), and currently serves in the Bureau for Food Security's Office of Market and Partnerships Innovation. This office leads private sector engagement, including agriculture technology commercialization, for the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future. Aviva began her career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan, and has served in USAID’s Georgia and Tajikistan Missions. Aviva holds masters degrees in Economics and International Relations from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and an undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland.

Director of External Affairs

Dr. Ball has been with HarvestPlus since 2006, serving in various roles, including Uganda Country Manager and Head of Strategic Alliances in Africa.

Recently, she has taken the lead on the oversight of communications, advocacy, donor relations, and partnerships as Director of External Affairs. Dr. Ball provides a wealth of experience in research, leadership, and the design and implementation of intervention programs. She has previously worked and lived in rural Africa for over 30 years, gaining experience in various sectors, including reproductive health (HIV/AIDS), water and sanitation (WASH), and agriculture-nutrition (biofortification) while leading large, multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural teams. Dr. Ball has received numerous awards for her research, including: IDRC Young Canadian Researcher's Award, Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. Award for Population-Based Research, and the International Outreach Research Award. She has also been awarded several fellowships and scholarships, including the NHRDP Fellowship, Manitoba Health Research Council Fellowship, University of Manitoba Fellowship, University of Guelph Graduate Scholarship, and the Herbert F. Crown Award.
She holds a PhD in Community Health Services from the University of Manitoba, a Master in International Rural Planning and Development from the University of Guelph, and a BSc in Biology (Honors) from Queen’s University (Canada).


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