B-Connect Innovation Portal

B-Connect Innovation Portal Launches

SALINAS, CA – June 4, 2015 the Grower-Shipper Association, Monterey County Farm Bureau and Steinbeck Innovation Foundation announced the launch of a new innovation portal dubbed B-Connect Ag Innovation BETA (B-Connect BETA). B-Connect BETA provides a first-of-its-kind portal for startups, entrepreneurs, and researchers to share their ideas and products directly with the ag community in a searchable, categorized database that will be accessible to members of all three founding organizations — whose memberships are thousands strong and make up a majority of the local agricultural community.

Technological innovation and prioritization of new scientific studies drive Salinas and Pajaro Valley (S&PV) agriculture’s ability to thrive, lead, and self-sustain. While there are many ideas, there’s not yet a mechanism in place for farmers or researchers to funnel, objectively review, and publicly test these ideas. B-Connect Ag Innovation, powered by the Grower-Shipper Association, Monterey County Farm Bureau and the Steinbeck Innovation Foundation, is building a framework to draw in ideas that are reviewed with consistent, objective metrics.

“Most of us in Salinas are all too familiar with cold calls from folks who say they’ve got the next big idea, but until now we’ve had no way to standardize, track, and share what these folks are offering,” says Steinbeck Innovation Board Chair Dennis Donohue. “B-Connect does just that.”

Salinas and Pajaro Valleys are increasingly embracing tech to thrive, lead, and self-sustain into the future. As two of the premier agriculture centers on the planet, the Salinas and Pajaro Valleys need to leverage technological innovation to bridge our growing food needs with modern challenges.

Applications are submitted online through the Steinbeck Innovation website. Applicants are asked to make a modest $150 donation to the Steinbeck Innovation Foundation to cover management of the B-Connect database.

Once approved, applicant products and studies will be reviewed with consistent, objective metrics by industry leaders and field experts. Submissions may be shared with members of the Farm Bureau, Grower-Shipper Association, Steinbeck Innovation Foundation, as well as partners at UCCE and USDA/NRCS. B-Connect Ag Innovation does not endorse companies or products, but provides an essential, central tracking and access mechanism that will bring California’s two most famous valleys ever closer together.

More information about B-Connect is available on Steinbeck Innovation’s website, here.

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