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GroundBreaker Prize to Fund Critical Water Research

New York, NY

  • Soil Health

Water plays a critical role in our food systems. However, it is increasingly becoming scarce for land-based agriculture, and over-fishing and climate change threaten the ability of the world’s oceans to produce food.

The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) and FoodShot Global (FSG), a collaborative capital investment platform that catalyzes innovation for a healthier, more sustainable and more equitable food system, announced a FoodShot focusing on water. The 2023 FoodShot, Water: The Essential Input, is investing in and catalyzing innovations that protect water as an essential limited resource for both aquatic and land-based food production. FFAR is contributing up to $200,000, which is being matched for a total of up to $575,000 to support pioneering water research through FoodShot’s GroundBreaker Prize.

Water and sustainable agriculture are inexorably linked. FFAR is honored to partner with FoodShot Global to invest in research to protect our water cycle, which is threatened by climate change and pollution that is causing water for land-based agriculture to be scarce and our oceans less productive. LaKisha Odom, Ph.D.
Scientific Program Director
Sustaining Vibrant Agroecosystems

This year’s GroundBreaker Prize will invest in entrepreneurs, researchers or advocates whose research improves and protects water use for aquatic and land-based food and agriculture. It also provides the recipients guidance, mentorship and resources to maximize the impact and scale of their research.

FoodShot #4: Water, the Essential Input will fund research that has the potential for scale and impact and considers how water cycles interact with the three previous FoodShots, related to soil health, precision protein and bioactive foods. FoodShot #4 seeks solutions to address:

  • Mitigating and adapting to the multiple threats of climate change on the water cycle as related to food production
  • Overuse and contamination of water that impacts food production, ecosystems, biodiversity and human health
  • Disruptions to water cycles connecting land- and water-based systems
  • Unsustainable aquatic food production (overfishing or damaging water-based farming)
  • Equitable access to aquatic foods and wealth creation for Indigenous and low-income coastal communities that are especially affected by climate change

“We see common ailments facing both land-based and water-based food systems – extractive practices that deplete natural resources, loss of biodiversity and pollution – and climate change looms as a threat multiplier,” said Sara Eckhouse, FSG’s executive director. “We’re looking for those bold ideas, innovative companies and groundbreaking individuals that can shift the paradigm.”

Applications are due December 1, 2023. For more information and to apply, visit


Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research

The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) builds public-private partnerships to fund bold research addressing big food and agriculture challenges. FFAR was established in the 2014 Farm Bill to increase public agriculture research investments, fill knowledge gaps and complement the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s research agenda. FFAR’s model matches federal funding from Congress with private funding, delivering a powerful return on taxpayer investment. Through collaboration and partnerships, FFAR advances actionable science benefiting farmers, consumers and the environment.

Connect: @FoundationFAR

About FoodShot Global

Headquartered in New York, FoodShot Global is a non-profit investment platform founded by venture capitalist and co-founder of S2G Ventures, Victor Firedberg. FSG brings together a worldwide consortium of mission-aligned venture funds, banks, corporations, universities and foundations to catalyze the success of global, transformative solutions to critical food and agriculture problems. FoodShot’s annual Challenge identifies the most pressing obstacles to creating a healthy, sustainable and equitable global food system. FoodShot Global Founding Partners include Rabobank, Generation Investment Management, Mars Edge, UC Davis Innovation Institute for Food and Health, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Builders Initiative, Armonia, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture as well as resource partners The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research, Sall Family Foundation, Path Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, the Soil Health Institute and venture partners S2G, ACRE, Activant Capital, ASW Ventures, Grantham Foundation and The Yield Lab.

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