Epivara Awarded 2021 Edwin Moore Family Agriculture Innovation Prize

Categories : EnterpriseWorks, Recognition & Awards
Posted on: March 10, 2021

Champaign, Illinois (March 10, 2021)Epivara, a company developing more humane, natural sterilization methods for livestock and companion animals, is the recipient of the 2021 Edwin Moore Family Agriculture Innovation Prize.

The award, generously funded by University of Illinois alumni and their families, rewards University of Illinois entrepreneurs focusing on agricultural innovations.

The Research Park together with the Moore family presented the award to Epivara Co-Founder Dr. Jay Ko and Director of Science Dr.  Rex Hess during the Agriculture Technology Innovation Summit. The event was held on Zoom webinar with more than 900 participants from around the world.

“We found a major problem in agriculture, which is surgical removal of gonads from healthy animals,” said Ko, a faculty member in the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, reflecting on the origins of the company. “We thought, let’s do something to make it more humane and at the same time, economical.”

“Now we have funding coming from many different sources and we are using the funds to test our products in pigs at university farms, and some other species. It’s an exciting moment, me as a basic scientist reaching a place where we have a product that can impact industry.”

epivara moore prize winner
Dr. Jay Ko and Dr. Rex Hess of Epivara accept the Edwin Moore Family Agricultural Innovation Prize in their lab at EnterpriseWorks. (RP photo)

The company’s scientists work out of a lab and office at EnterpriseWorks, the technology incubator in the Research Park.

The Edwin Moore Agriculture Innovation Fund was established in 2016 with a generous gift to EnterpriseWorks, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s technology incubator. Its goal is to encourage startup companies engaged in development of new innovative technologies that may lead to increased productivity and/or efficiency in farming, or to create new agricultural opportunities, including new processes, new crops, and new food production systems.

Previous winners include Aspiring Universe (2020), TellTail (2019), EarthSense (2018) and Soil Diagnostics (2017).

For more information about Epivara, visit their website here.

About the Edwin Moore Family Agriculture Innovation Prize

The award honors the legacy of Edwin E. Moore (1924), who graduated from the University of Illinois College of Agriculture and began farming in Will County. Throughout his agricultural career, he and wife, Iva, used innovative farming practices for both crop production and livestock management. Two of their four children became farmers, Edwin and Thomas (1953, College of Agriculture), and continued use of innovative farm practices. Subsequent generations of Edwin Moore’s family have continued to pursue farming and ag related careers capturing the same innovative spirit.

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 120 companies employing students and full-time technology professionals. More information at researchpark.illinois.edu. Find the Research Park on Twitter at @UIResearchPark.