Monsanto Opens Innovation Center at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois today announced that Monsanto, a global agriculture company headquartered in St. Louis, and The Climate Corporation, a subsidiary of Monsanto have opened the Monsanto Innovation Center at the University of Illinois Research Park.

Feb. 1, 2018 18:05 UTC

Center will apply interdisciplinary approach to build solutions, source innovation

CHAMPAIGN, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The University of Illinois today announced that Monsanto (NYSE: MON), a global agriculture company headquartered in St. Louis, and The Climate Corporation, a subsidiary of Monsanto have opened the Monsanto Innovation Center at the University of Illinois Research Park.

When fully staffed, the Monsanto Innovation Center will employ more than two dozen students who will enhance and augment a robust agricultural innovation portfolio with additional enabling capabilities like IT, data science and engineering. Students will focus on cutting-edge, real-world, social, scientific challenges in areas like advanced analytics, operations research, phenomics, genomics, plant science and precision breeding technologies. The center will employ students who are studying disciplines such as electrical engineering, UX design, mechanical engineering, software engineering and imaging sensor science.

The Center will use digital tools and data to drive agricultural innovations which increase efficiency and reduce the amount of water, land, and energy necessary to meet the world’s food, fuel and fiber needs.

“At Monsanto, we are a company built on innovation. We believe connecting new talent and ideas accelerates the discovery needed to feed and sustain our world,” said Mike Graham, vice president of Global Plant Breeding. “The Monsanto Innovation Center will cultivate future scientists who have the opportunity to shape how data science is applied to modern agriculture.”

“Continued advancement of research and educational programs at leading universities is essential to the future success of modern agriculture. Additionally, it’s critical we support the training and development of the next generation so they can apply their education and implement new technologies to help solve agricultural challenges,” said Sam Eathington, chief science officer at The Climate Corporation. “It’s for this reason we have invested in the new innovation center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, to help deliver on this promise.”

The Center has hired both graduate and undergraduate students from across campus, representing at least four different colleges and multiple disciplines. It is focused on fostering a collaborative, entrepreneurial and solution-based framework where students will engage with innovative projects designed to help facilitate professional development.

“The Monsanto Innovation Center at Research Park represents the next frontier of a relationship that spans decades,” said University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign chancellor Robert J. Jones. “Tapping into the talent base of our students is a win-win. For them, getting to address some of the complex problems facing society is part of the fabric of what it means to get an Illinois education.”

The Center opens with seven highly-skilled student interns. It will continue to recruit top University talent to fill roles as additional projects come to fruition.

“Monsanto and the University of Illinois have deep ties thanks to a long-lasting, strong relationship. We anticipate that will only continue thanks to this unique opportunity to grow a footprint directly on campus in the Research Park,” said Blake Giles, site director of the new Monsanto Innovation Center.

About Monsanto Company

Monsanto is committed to bringing a broad range of solutions to help nourish our growing world. We produce seeds for fruits, vegetables and key crops - such as corn, soybeans, and cotton - that help farmers have better harvests while using water and other important resources more efficiently. We work to find sustainable solutions for soil health, help farmers use data to improve farming practices and conserve natural resources, and provide crop protection products to minimize damage from pests and disease. Through programs and partnerships, we collaborate with farmers, researchers, nonprofit organizations, universities and others to help tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges. To learn more about Monsanto, our commitments and our more than 20,000 dedicated employees, please visit Follow our business on Twitter® at

About The Climate Corporation

The Climate Corporation, a subsidiary of Monsanto Company, aims to help all the world’s farmers sustainably increase their productivity through the use of digital tools. The integrated Climate FieldView™ digital agriculture platform provides farmers with a comprehensive, connected suite of digital tools. Bringing together seamless field data collection, advanced agronomic modeling and local weather monitoring into simple mobile and web software solutions, the Climate FieldView platform gives farmers a deeper understanding of their fields so they can make more informed operating decisions to optimize yields, maximize efficiency and reduce risk. For more information, please visit and follow the company on Twitter @climatecorp.

About the Research Park at the University of Illinois

The Research Park at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a technology hub for startup companies and corporate research and development operations. Within the Research Park there are 115 companies employing students and full-time technology professionals. More information at Find the Research Park on Twitter at @UIResearchPark.


University of Illinois Research Park
Laura Frerichs, (217) 333-8324

Source: University of Illinois Research Park