Bill Aimutis is currently the inaugural Director for the North Carolina Food Innovation Lab managed by North Carolina State University on the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis. Bill’s team works with entrepreneurial and multi-national companies in fruit, vegetable, and plant-based product development and scale-up in a pilot plant operating under cGMP standards. Prior to his current position, Aimutis was a Research Fellow and Global Director of External Innovation for Cargill, Inc. where he developed the External Innovation program for Cargill’s core businesses, including interaction with global venture capital groups. Bill retired from Cargill in September, 2018. An Indiana native, Bill received a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science at Purdue University and graduate degrees from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in the Food Science Department. Bill has held several research and operations leadership and management positions in his career. Bill is a Fellow of the American Dairy Science Association, and a Distinguished Agricultural Alumnus from both Purdue University and Virginia Tech. Additionally, he was awarded an Outstanding Food Science Award from the Food Science Department at Purdue University. Aimutis has been invited to speak at numerous meetings about innovation and investments in the agriculture and food industries. Aimutis also serves on industry advisory committees for Agricultural Engineering (Penn State University), Food Science (Virginia Tech University), the Agriculture Innovation Forum (Larta), and the University of Illinois’ Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory.