The projects that Cirrus pursues are diverse, but generally begin with a question something like the following:

  • We want to understand how our technology contributes to sustainability particularly with regard to carbon footprint and environmental services
  • “Our technology creates value downstream from our traditional, farmer customer-base. How might we position that offering to share in that value?”
  • “We are considering how much research spending is appropriate for a certain technology target. What sort of value would such a technology create? What factors are most significant in changing that value? How could we share in that value?”
  • “We need to know exactly how our product is being used by growers so that we can better negotiate with a regulatory agency that is wanting to make label changes.”
  • “We see several macro-trends which could dramatically change an industry in which we participate. Are there ways that we could add to or change our offerings to both help the industry with its challenges and enhance our market position?”
  • “We need to have better control over the quality and liability profile over our supply chain. How could we better interact with or incentivize the industry to address these issues?”
  • “We have been offered access to a specific technology/business. We need an independent assessment of its value, of the issues surrounding it, and of its potential synergy (positive or negative) with our current business.”
  • “We are entering a new market segment and we need to fully understand how value is created at each level of the chain, who the major players are, and what the drivers are throughout the industry.”
  • “We are trying to understand how our technology fits within the framework of ‘Sustainability’ and how we can help our customers tap into new sources of value around ‘environmental services’ and preferred access to environmentally conscious downstream customers.”

700 year-old example of agricultural innovation in Southern China