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Chain of Life nears handover to consortium

George Staby said he hoped the Chain of Life Network website and related resources would be taken over by a consortium of three universities and a floral trade group in the next month. Final negotiations are under way now, he said in a recent interview.

Staby, 70, a founder of the floral resource network, retired in 2012. The Chain of Life Network currently has about 10,000 individual members from more than 100 countries, he said. It offers computer links to hundreds of databases and thousands of floral-related research articles worldwide, with instant access to historical as well as the latest published research findings.

Other holdings include about 19,000 scientific and trade articles, numerous trademarks and copyrighted materials, Perishables Research Organization Institute materials, and a website with almost 24,000 pages of searchable floral post-harvest care, handling and marketing information.

The original Chain of Life program was started in 1975 by Staby and three other professors from Ohio State University and the University of Florida. The death of two of its founders, along with other factors, led to the program’s decline in the late 1980s, Staby recalled.

In 2002, Staby oversaw the rebirth of the program as a free website called Chain of Life Network. The advent of the Internet allowed industry members, educators and students much greater access to floral post-harvest and marketing information.