The TURBO Program (technology transfer, university research & business opportunity) is a business accelerator for entrepreneurs and small businesses who want to develop a food or beverage product that contains a dairy ingredient. (https://www.cdr.wisc.edu/turbo) TURBO is different than traditional food accelerators because it emphasizes product development support and then provides access to business resources as the client's needs evolve. Also, there are no business cohorts. Individual TURBO clients can access the program's resources on an "as needed" basis and can stay in the program for as long as they want to. Since the CDR is providing "technical assistance" the client maintains all of their intellectual property rights. TURBO was created in 2013 and, on average, has worked with 54 clients annually. TURBO clients can access the CDR's state -of-the-art product development resources and scientists including prototype development, scale-up, sensory analysis and co-packing referrals.
The Dairy Business Alliance (DBIA) program evolved out of the 2018 federal Farm Bill (https://www.cdr.wisc.edu/dbia). In 2019, CDR with its partner the WI Cheese Makers Assoc. (WCMA) successfully competed in a national competition to create three "Centers". DBIA covers five states (IL, IA, MN, SD, & WI). The other two centers selected were Vermont (NE United States) and Tennessee (SE United States). This is a three year program with the current one starting in 2020 and will go through 2023. Program extensions are dependent on future federal budgets.
DBIA has three objectives:
- Encourage and support dairy farm diversification
- Increase the number of new "high value" food or beverage products that contain a dairy ingredient
- Increase dairy product exports
This is/will be accomplished by providing:
- Technical assistance through webinars and seminars (post COVID)
- The identification of local and state programs and resources to assist DBIA clients to move forward with their business or new product ideas.
- Annual grant cycles to support qualified applicants and their new business/product endeavors
- Provide support in hiring business consultants
- New product development products designed to be competitive exports to such areas as of SE Asia , China etc.
- New product development to support an "import substitution" opportunity to reduce consumer reliance on European sheep and goat cheese.
- Access to specialty cheese and beverage product development specialists at CDR