Co-Operative Industrial Research appears to have originated in the United States in the late 1880’s when the cane sugar producers of Louisiana found themselves threatened by the competition of the beet sugar producers. The latter were using scientists to improve their yields of sugar and their methods of extraction. The cane sugar producers decided to meet the challenge by the same methods and established a Sugar Experiment Station first at Kenner and later at Audubon on the outskirts of New Orleans. The shortage of trained men to staff the experiment station led to the foundation of the Audubon Sugar School in 1891 which was run in conjunction with the experiment station. The funds for these organizations were contributed entirely by the sugar cane planters of Louisiana.