March 01, 2016

Bellevue, WA – March 1, 2016 – Intellectual Ventures’ Global Good today announced it has signed a three-year manufacturing and distribution agreement with Worthington Industries (NYSE: WOR) for the AI (Artificial Insemination) Shield, a transportation solution for frozen bull semen that increases the impact of artificial insemination efforts and overall herd growth for cattle farmers.  The deal enables Worthington Industries to sell the AI Shield into East Africa, a region of focus for Intellectual Ventures, as an addition to the recently-acquired CryoScience by Taylor-Wharton product line. Additionally, the AI Shield will be available in North America, South America and Europe.

The AI Shield is a simple, proprietary cold chain solution that protects frozen bull semen from adverse thermal fluctuations, contributing to an increased likelihood of conception by artificial insemination. 

“Unfortunately many developing-world breeding programs suffer from decreased efficacy since current refrigeration containers and handling techniques hamper conception rates.  More than nine million dairy farmers in East Africa alone could benefit from adopting artificial insemination as part of their herd management practices,” said Maurizio Vecchione, Senior Vice President of Global Good and Research at Intellectual Ventures. “When properly administered, artificial insemination can contribute to the kinds of increased milk production and herd improvements common place in the developed world, but lacking in the developing world.”

“Frozen semen used to artificially inseminate dairy cattle is surprisingly sensitive to small changes in temperature,” said Damian Madan Ph.D., Principal Investigator of biotechnology at Intellectual Ventures Lab. “It’s quite easy to inadvertently cause damaging thermal fluctuations when accessing semen in a liquid-nitrogen-containing Dewar in typical field conditions. Remedies used in the developed world are often unavailable in the developing world. Cryoinjuries to semen can result in failed pregnancies, which negatively impact farmers’ livelihoods, especially in the developing world.”

“Unlike the canisters currently used to house semen in a Dewar, the AI Shield helps keep bull semen within an acceptable temperature range so that it doesn’t get damaged, which increases the impact of AI and encourages overall local market growth,” added Madan.

“The AI Shield represents the type of innovative product solutions that Worthington Industries will continue to build upon with the acquisition of the CryoScience by Taylor-Wharton product line. “We are excited to partner with Global Good to deliver this new technology to developing markets and AI specialists around the world. We are particularly pleased to expand our product offering to East Africa, where the benefits of cryogenic storage stand to offer myriad solutions to the region,” stated CryoScience by Taylor-Wharton Vice President & GM Andy Pazahanick. 

Global Good is a collaborative effort between Bill Gates and Intellectual Ventures (IV) to tackle some of humanity’s toughest problems through invention. The effort combines IV’s unique invention prowess with the expertise of government, NGO, scientific, and commercial partners around the world. Together, we conceive, develop, and deploy inventions that save lives.

Worthington Industries is a leading global diversified metals manufacturing company with 2015 fiscal year sales of $3.4 billion. With the recent acquisition of the CryoScience by Taylor-Wharton product line, Worthington now offers an expanded portfolio of cryogenic storage vessels and related equipment ranging from 1.5 liter dewars to the largest LABS Series freezer that stores over 94,000 vials. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Worthington employs approximately 10,000 people and operates 82 facilities in 11 countries.