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Hormel Institute to partner with business

The Hormel Institute is not only growing, it's taking its research to the marketplace.

Sitting on a bioscience panel made up of leaders from Mayo Clinic, IBM and the University of Minnesota-Rochester, Anne Bode of Hormel Institute announced a new partnership with a Rochester company.

"We are working with PSI (Pharmaceutical Specialties Inc.) to add our agents to their lotions," Bode told the audience of business and political leaders Thursday in Rochester.

Describing the partnership as in the "very early stages," she touted the project as an example of collaboration in the bioscience field that can strengthen the local economy.

PSI, which is owned and was founded by two former Mayo Clinic pharmacists, makes the popular Vanicream lotions, sunscreens, shampoos and lip balms.


Beyond that early stage project, the Hormel Institute is also working on other ways to reach the marketplace.

"We are working with Mayo Clinic to develop an Office of Translational Research," Bode said. "We can proceed only so far (with commercially developing research). We don't have the funding or expertise."

Mayo Clinic already has its Office of Intellectual Property, which bridges the chasm between research and business. This office handles licensing Mayo patents to private companies as well as launching its own companies to develop the product research.

Bode said she'd like to see the Institute become more commercially minded.

"Academics are not too business-minded at times," she says.

While the institute is striving to grow, it already has increased its footprint significantly recently.

Its staff recently grew to 130 employees, and the Institute plans to add two research groups to the 11 groups it has.

Bode cited "an attitude of cooperation" with local fellow bioscience powers — Mayo Clinic, the University of Minnesota and IBM — as well as private companies such as PSI as being key to the Hormel Institutes' future growth.

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