We Fund Pioneering Research
We Invest in the Scientific Workforce
Scientific Workforce Programs
Year Awarded 2020
FFAR award amount $748,549
Total award amount $1,497,098
Location Ames, IA
Program Seeding Solutions
Matching Funders Iowa State University, KWS SAAT SE & Co, Beck’s Superior Hybrids, BASF, SAATEN-UNION BIOTEC and RAGT
On average, it takes farmers ten years to produce a new crop. With an increasing global population, there is high demand for more crops sooner. Iowa State University researchers are developing breeding methods that accelerate plant breeding for multiple crop species. These breeding techniques deliver improved crop varieties – with greater yields – into the hands of farmers sooner.
Total award amount $100
Location Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Delbruck Building, 1 Bungtown Road
Matching Funders Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Dr. Zachary Lippman was awarded the 2020 National Academy of Sciences Prize in Food and Agriculture for his work to increase crop productivity in the face of declining agricultural land and population growth through novel gene editing techniques.
FFAR award amount $1,000,000
Total award amount $1,000,000
Location Davis, California
Program Plant Protein Enhancement Project
Matching Funders Open Philanthropy
The future of agriculture requires producing more food on less land in an environmentally sustainable manner. Ensuring global nutritional security depends in large part on plants that are more efficient at producing calories and protein than livestock. However, centuries of crop domestication have limited the genetic capacity to improve widely consumed crops to meet these needs. NuCicer is introducing greater genetic diversity into chickpea varieties. This research is increasing protein content and quality and developing other desirable agronomic traits in chickpeas.
FFAR award amount $5,000,000
Total award amount $17,000,000
Location Texcoco, Mexico
Matching Funders Accelerating Genetic Gains for Maize and Wheat, CGIAR Research Program on Wheat
Hotter and drier weather, driven by a changing climate, threatens the global wheat supply. The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) is leading the Heat and Drought Wheat Improvement Consortium (HeDWIC) to develop wheat designed to ensure the crop’s long-term climate resilience.
FFAR award amount $15,000
Total award amount $30,000
Location University of Missouri
Matching Funders Bayer
Gene discovery is crucial to developing next-generation crops. Yet, the majority of collective research is focused on a subset of genes, not due to their importance, but due to human biases in how we conduct science and discover genes. Whitt is creating an unbiased gene selection method for genome wide association studies.
FFAR award amount $10,000
Total award amount $20,000
Location Pennsylvania State University
Matching Funders PASA
Switchgrass is a leading biofuel feedstock for the emerging bio-economy. Soil microbes play a critical role in crop health and yield. Sutherland is leveraging deep-learning computational methods to improve breeding lines of switchgrass for desirable traits relevant to the US bioenergy market.
FFAR award amount $97,500
Total award amount $195,000
Location University of Maryland, College Park
Matching Funders Inari; Syngenta
Population growth, climate change and decreases in arable farmland increases the need for productive and resilient crop varieties. Conventional breeding approaches to increase yields of major crops, such as rice and maize, cannot keep pace with the speed of change. Sretenovic is developing precise genome editing technologies in plants to meet global needs.
FFAR award amount $70,000
Total award amount $140,000
Location North Carolina State University
Matching Funders BASF
Plant tissue culture and transformation is a critical step for plant breeding. Given its many advantages, such as long life, energy efficiency, low radiated heat and reliability, LED lighting is the future for plant tissue culture and transformation. Yet, little is known about the impact of LED lighting on the process. Shi is examining the effect of LED lighting intensity and spectrum on plant tissue culture and transformation.
Matching Funders Corteva
Bt crops, also known as bacillus thuringiensis, are a genetically modified bacteria that naturally produces toxins to protect crops from pests. Resistance evolution by insects threatens the success of Bt crops. Pezzini is studying the resistance of Helicoverpzea, a globally threatening pest, to Bt toxins expressed in corn. This research combines insect behavior and genetic data to evaluate the development of resistance.
Location Tuskegee University
Matching Funders Tuskegee University
Cowpea is a nutritious commercial crop that contributes significantly to the global economy. Devastating viral diseases in cowpea threatens global food security and impacts the economy. Mweta is investigating the resistance of organically grown cowpea to viral diseases to determine efficient crop management strategies.
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