Middle Bit: John Deere acquires startup Blue River Technology for $305 million

Deere & Company announced an agreement to acquire Blue River Technology—an ag robotics startup—for $305 million, according to a news release Wednesday from the Moline, Ill. based company.

Blue River Technology—based in Sunnyvale, Calif.—developed farm robotics technology using computer vision that can identify unwanted plants and shoot them with deadly herbicide.

According to the release, Deere is confident that similar technology can be used in the future on a wider range of products. Deere will invest $305 million to fully acquire Blue River Technology and have the 60-person firm remain in Sunnyvale.

The transaction between Deere & Company and Big River Technology is expected to close in September.

Iowa State University named Innovation Corps site

Iowa State University was selected as one of the newest National Science Foundation Innovation Corps sites, according to a news release Tuesday morning.

According to the release, the distinction enhances the university’s reputation as a leader in creative innovative solutions to address societal problems.

The National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps) sites act as a training ground for faculty, postdoctoral and graduate students to transition their ideas from the lab to the marketplace. Researchers learn how to increase the impact of their research by exploring the commercial potential of their research and technology. The program also strengthens the university’s entrepreneurship programs.

Iowa State University will focus on translating discoveries that reflect its strengths in engineering, bio-renewables, materials science and agriculture, food and nutrition, and veterinary  medicine.

Iowa to hold digital literacy conference

Iowa will hold a first-of-its-kind digital literacy conference with education, health and safety leaders along with Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, according to a news release Tuesday.

According to the release, the event will feature educational and scientific leaders on digital literacy. They will share innovations in teaching with educators, health professionals and other stakeholders.

The one-day conference is scheduled for Nov. 10 in Ames.

What else happened…


Amazon is on the lookout for a city to stick its new HQ, could Colorado be in the mix? – The Denver Post

Four Silicon Valley venture firms invest $21 million in Denver’s Guild Education – The Denver Post


United Technologies to buy Rockwell Collins for $23 billion – The Wall Street Journal

Rockwell Collins’ future in Iowa uncertain – The Des Moines Register


United Way’s Funding Bind – TCBmag.com


St. Louis will put together ‘competitive bid’ for new Amazon HQ – The Associated Press

Sprint Accelerator alum trades Miami for Kansas City – Startlandnews.com