Bright orange walls and ergonomic chairs. A black conference table flanked by a half-dozen scruffy-chic men (zip-front sweaters, double-pierced ears, turn-of-the-millennium tattoos) and three times as many digital devices (nobody brought just one).
Scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs are racing to give farmers tools to boost agricultural productivity. These five technologies — some big, some small — could change the face of farming.
A Capital Region startup is striving to be among the first in the nation to produce the zero-calorie, natural sweetener stevia on an industrial scale. An agricultural biotech company, Yuba City-based Stevia First is bolstering its chances of success by actively collaborating with experts in the field, drawing on the area’s robust talent pool of farmers, agronomists, agricultural innovators and biotech experts to develop a product that’s superior in both taste and cost compared to its foreign competitors.
For much of the past decade, venture capitalists showered dollars upon clean-technology startups with promising-sounding ideas in areas like solar, electric cars and biofuels.
That era appears to have ended.
Like an oil derrick with arms, the school-bus-yellow robot is the center of attraction in an otherwise colorless room dominated by metal castings and concrete floors. Moving like a mime on a street corner, the robot picks up a metal casting, holds it to a computer-run camera and then places the part and the fixture that holds it on a machine for tooling.
A broken leg used to be a death sentence for a horse. Now, the University of California veterinary teaching hospital in Davis is using stem cells to help the horses heal quickly.
Gary Morton has a dream and a car. If his dream comes true, like those of Henry Ford and Karl Benz before him, Morton will turn his prototype into a car company.
But Morton is not looking to build a big assembly plant or an extensive dealer network. His production will be limited to just one model that will offer baby boomers the nostalgia of the muscle cars they drove in their youth alongside their modern commitment to a pollution-free environment.
Children now have logical reasons for not finishing their brussels sprouts at the dinner table. If they’re thrown away, it could be good for the economy and the environment.
When Hacker Lab outgrew 800 square feet on Franklin Boulevard last year, the founders needed more than additional space. They needed a change of scenery.