Urban Food Systems Challenge Area

The Urban Food Systems Challenge Area aims to enhance our ability to feed urban populations through urban and peri-urban agriculture, augmenting the capabilities of our current food system.  This Challenge Area will target research and technology development that includes, but is not limited to: sustainable production in urban and per-urban spaces, saving water, extended growing seasons, farming practices, adoption nutritious,and climate resilient crops, and urban distribution methods that make food more physically accessible and affordable.

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Open Funding Opportunities

The Tipping Points Program is a new opportunity at the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) to build on the investments already made that target food systems within communities and regions. This program attempts to leverage the knowledge gained through these investments to increase our understanding of the complexities within a community or regional food system. The insights gained from these interventions and understanding their interdependence on each other can lead to sustainable solutions that promote health and increase economic opportunities.

Review request for applications (RFA) for the Tipping Points Program.

Full proposals are now open to invited applicants. 


Grants Awarded

2017 Seeding Solutions Grant

FFAR awards a Seeding Solutions grant to AeroFarms, a leading indoor vertical farming company with global headquarters in Newark, New Jersey. AeroFarms will match the Foundation’s grant for a total investment of nearly $2 million. The project aims to improve crop production by defining the relationships between stressed plants, the phytochemicals they produce and the taste and texture of the specialty crops grown. The work will result in commercial production of improved leafy green varieties and yield science-based best practices for farming.

While current plant breeding research focuses on breeding plants that are adapted to their environments, this new approach will investigate how to harness environmental conditions to improve the characteristics of plants grown indoors, where conditions like temperature and humidity can be maintained with precision. Information generated from this research will be published and presented at controlled environment agriculture industry conferences, including events tailored to startup companies and prospective entrepreneurs. Learn more.