0521KWAinterimdirectplant.cfm Gray appointed interim director KS Innovation Center for Advanced Plant Design
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Gray appointed interim director KS Innovation Center for Advanced Plant Design


Leading science manager Jim Gray has been appointed Interim Director of the Kansas Innovation Center for Advanced Plant Design effective May 19. Announcing the appointment, Kansas Wheat CEO Dusti Fritz noted Gray's more than two decades of professional, regulatory and leadership experience in the agriculture and biotechnology industries.

The Kansas Bioscience Authority announced in mid-May that they will fund the Kansas Innovation Center for Advanced Plant Design in the amount of $4 million for fiscal year 2010. The Innovation Center is a public and private collaboration between Kansas Wheat, Kansas State University, the University of Kansas and many private investors. The Center will use a unique, state-of the art technology platform to conduct wheat, sorghum and native plants research targeted to specific market needs in the areas of human health and nutrition, animal nutrition and health and biofuels/biomaterials.

"Gray will lead the Center's start-up team which develops and promotes innovative technologies to increase the grain industry's capacity for improvements--particularly in the areas of water and nutrient use, pest management, environmental variability, agronomic improvements and value-added traits," Ms. Fritz said. "Jim's specialist skills and diverse industries background will further strengthen the Center's ability to interact with Kansas State University agricultural scientists in addressing agronomic challenges and University of Kansas scientists in identifying value-added nutritional and medicinal traits."

Gray has worked extensively in corporate settings at Fortune 100 level companies, and spent a number of years in trade and industry related positions as well. He is a recognized and trusted resource for counseling corporations, grower boards, state departments of agriculture and state legislatures across the country.

His career experience spans the agricultural, food, feed and bioenergy industries, dealing with a variety of stewardship issues on topics ranging from traits, seed and chemical inputs, crop production, ethanol, biodiesel, feed and food processing and more. He has worked with Bayer CropScience as the state affairs manager, with the Western Crop Protection Association as the director of regulatory and environmental affairs, and as a production manager and sales representative with a variety of prominent agricultural and chemical companies.

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