First Green Partners and Alberti Advisors
Douglas C. Cameron (Doug) is passionate about helping entrepreneurs, researchers, and students create a healthier world. He is an innovator, investor, advisor, and teacher. Currently, Doug is Managing Director of First Green Partners, an early-stage venture investment company and of Alberti Advisors, a family business focused on innovation and education. He is a board director for several start-up companies and is on the advisory board of the AgTech Accelerator in the Research Triangle Park (North Carolina).
Doug has significant experience in both research and business. His first job out of college was with an agricultural start-up company focused on large-scale protein production. He was a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he taught and led research in metabolic engineering and bioprocessing. While at Wisconsin he was a member of the cellular and molecular biology program and had a courtesy appointment in the Center for Dairy Research. He moved from Wisconsin to Cargill, where he started the corporate biotechnology research group and was director of biotechnology and chief scientist. He initiated and led research projects related to food and bio-based products in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
While at Cargill, Doug also worked with the corporate ventures group on deal-sourcing and due diligence. He moved from Cargill to Khosla Ventures in Silicon Valley, where he was chief science officer, acting CEO of several start-up companies, and on eight corporate boards. He then moved to Piper Jaffray, a global investment bank based in Minneapolis as chief science officer and an investment banker. From there he started Alberti Advisors and co-founded First Green Partners.
Doug has ten issued U.S. patents. He is a recipient of the Raphael Katzen Award and is a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, the Society of Industrial Microbiology, and the American Society for the Advancement of Science. He has a B.S.E. in biomedical engineering from Duke University and a Ph.D. in biochemical engineering from M.I.T. Doug enjoys bicycling and recently completed the 430 mile RAGBRAI bicycle ride across Iowa with his wife, Sally.
Agriculture uses 70 percent of the world’s accessible freshwater. FFAR’s 2016-2018 Overcoming Water Scarcity Challenge Area addressed water use efficiency in agriculture by developing water conservation and reuse technologies, improving crop and livestock breeds, creating improved agronomic practices, increasing the social and economic tractability of conservation practices and enhancing the efficacy of Extension services.
FFAR’s Sustainable Water Management Challenge Area builds on earlier work to increase water availability and water efficiency for agricultural use, reduces agricultural water pollution and develops water reuse technologies.
FFAR’s 2016-2018 Healthy Soils, Thriving Farms Challenge Area increased soil health by building knowledge, fueling innovation, and enabling adoption of existing or new innovative practices that improve soil health.
The Soil Health Challenge Area advances existing research and identifies linkages between farm productivity and soil health, while also addressing barriers to the adoption of soil health practices.
FFAR’s 2016-2018 Protein Challenge Area sought to improve the environmental, economic and social sustainability of diverse proteins.
The Advance Animal Systems challenge area supports sustainable animal production through environmentally sound productions practices and advancement in animal health and welfare. Additionally, the Next Generation Crops Challenge Area develops non-traditional crops, including plant-based proteins, and creates new economic opportunities for conventional crops to increase future crop diversity and farm profitability.
About 40 percent of food in the US, or $161 billion each year, is lost or wasted. FFAR’s 2016-2018 Food and Waste Loss Challenge Area addressed the social, economic and environmental impacts from food waste and loss through research that developed of novel uses for agricultural waste, improved storage and distribution, supported tracking and monitoring, minimized spoilage through pre- and post-harvest innovations and changed behaviors to reduce food waste
FFAR’s current Health-Agriculture Nexus Challenge Area addresses food waste and loss and supports innovative, systems-level approaches to reduce food and nutritional insecurity and improve human health in the US and globally.
Supporting innovation is necessary for sustainable results. Over the last 50 years, farmers have tripled global food production thanks to agricultural innovations. Forging the Innovation Pathway to Sustainability was a 2016-2018 Challenge Area that focused on understanding the barriers and processes that prevented the adoption of technology and research results into sustainable practices.
The 2016-2018 Urban Food Systems Challenge Area addressed feeding urban populations through urban and peri-urban agriculture and augmenting the capabilities of our current food system.
The Urban Food Systems Challenge Area continues this work and enhances our ability to feed urban populations.
FFAR’s 2016-2018 Making My Plate Your Plate Challenge Area focused on helping Americans meet the USDA 2015 Dietary Guideline recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption, including research to both produce and provide access to nutritious fruits and vegetables.
FFAR’s current Health-Agriculture Nexus Challenge Area supports innovative, systems-level approaches to reduce food and nutritional insecurity and improve human health in the US and globally.