Three Funding Opportunities Announced: Organic Ag., Collaborative Robotics, and Crop Breeding

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture has announced three new funding opportunities: Organic Transitions, the National Robotics Initiative through AFRI, and Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research.

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Announces Support for Organic Agricultural Programs

WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2018 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced $3.8 million in available funding to address critical issues related to organic agriculture. Funding is made through NIFA’s Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants – Organic Transitions (ORG) program.

The ORG program supports the development and implementation of research, extension, and education programs that enhance organic livestock and crop production. Organic agricultural systems provide many ecosystem services, and natural resources stewardship is a key principle in organic farming.

The deadline for applications is March 29, 2018. See the funding opportunity for details.

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Announces Support for Collaborative Robotics

WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2018 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced support through the joint National Robotics Initiative (NRI-2.0) to research the development and use of collaborative robots. NIFA’s funding is made through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, which aims to address challenges in food and agricultural sciences, through research, extension, and education.

The NRI-2.0(link is external) program is a partnership between NIFA, the National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, and Department of Energy. It supports foundational research in robotic science and technology. There are four main areas of research to advance the goal of ubiquitous co-robots: scalability, customizability, lowering barriers to entry, and societal impact.

There is $7 million available in funding. There are two full proposal deadlines: Feb. 20, 2018, and Feb. 5, 2019. See the request for applications(link is external) for further details.

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Announces Support for Crop Breeding Research

WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2018 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announces support for Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) to speed the development of new crop varieties. Funding is made through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, which seeks to address challenges in food and agricultural sciences through research, extension, and education opportunities.

EAGER is established jointly among NIFA, the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Biological Sciences Directorate, and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council of the United Kingdom to foster the development of breakthrough technologies for advancing crop breeding. Additionally, EAGER addresses the barriers to improving crop varieties, such as producing hybrids, understanding recombination, and epigenetic inheritance. This EAGER opportunity invites proposals to overcome these barriers to crop breeding in highly innovative and transformative ways.

There is approximately $3 million in available funding. The deadline for summary submission is March 14, 2018. See the funding opportunity for additional details.

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