International Licensing of CANR-Generated Technologies

The scientists, staff and students of CANR are generating numerous new technologies for applications in agriculture and natural resources management. The CANR collaborates with the MSU Innovation Center for licensing of these technologies through the MSU Technologies Office (MSU-T). The MSU-T is the technology transfer and commercialization office for MSU. MSU-T facilitates the commercial and public use of technologies and copyrightable materials created by MSU researchers. The goal of MSU-T is to support the development of these technologies from the lab or research program to the marketplace in the U.S. and around the world, ensuring that the technology’s benefits reach the public. This work connects Michigan-based technologies to overseas markets, facilitates new relationships between researchers and companies for collaborative purposes, and may return royalties to MSU which are re-invested into research programs. MSU-T works with all colleges at MSU, including the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), to facilitate the development and commercialization of new technologies.

MSU-T has numerous interactions with CANR researchers to support and license technologies in the international agriculture space; two of these researchers are Dave Douches, PhD, and Amy Iezzoni, PhD. Douches, director of the MSU Potato Breeding and Genetics Program and Professor in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, has developed and released numerous potato varieties to support potato production in the U.S. and abroad, as well as to provide varieties for developing countries. MSU-T has also worked with Douches to commercialize numerous potato varieties for U.S. and international markets. One variety, Saginaw Chipper, is an excellent chipping potato that has resistance to major virus-caused diseases. These traits allow growers to produce disease-free potatoes that make high-quality potato chips. Saginaw Chipper was licensed to Australia-based Snack Brands Australia in 2019.

Iezzoni, professor in the Department of Horticulture, studies cherry genetics and breeds sour cherries and sweet cherry rootstocks. She developed Corette™, a line of cherry rootstocks that result in short fruit trees that begin bearing fruit more quickly than other cherry rootstock varieties. These characteristics allow growers to harvest the cherry fruit easier and faster. MSU worked with Iezzoni to license the Corette™ rootstocks to the Spain-based Agromillora Group in 2018. The license is for the South American and European regions, two areas that produce large amounts of cherry fruit.

MSU-T is excited to support the development and commercialization of new technologies invented by the CANR researchers, such as Douches and Iezzoni, to improve lives and communities in Michigan, the U.S., and internationally. To read more about MSU-T and the work that is being done to support MSU inventors, please visit