About Seeding Solutions

Submissions are now closed.

FFAR seeks to encourage the development of unique partnerships to support innovative and potentially transformative research. FFAR anticipates funding at least one meritorious proposal in each of our seven Challenge Areas. We encourage applicants to reach out to the managing Scientific Program Director for their Challenge Area of interest to hone their ideas prior to submitting a pre-proposal. FFAR continues to seek and develop partnerships and projects, but this is an opportunity for the community to bring FFAR innovative ideas and unique partnerships to solve intractable challenges in food in agriculture.

To be considered, proposals must address and provide solutions to an intractable problem and/or accelerate innovation within FFAR's Challenge Areas. Proposals may be new projects or expansions of ongoing projects. If a request is to expand an ongoing research project, the request must adequately explain why additional funding will enhance innovation or accelerate the project.

FFAR will award each applicant up to $1 million to projects lasting 12 to 60 months. A minimum one-to-one funding match from non federal sources is required.

Download the full request for applications for more details on this funding opportunity.

Explore past Seeding Solutions grants by viewing this program on our list of grants.

Key Dates

Pre-Proposal Applications Open
March 1, 2018 at 12:00 PM ET

Pre-Proposal Submission Deadline
April 18, 2018 at 4:59:59 PM ET
Submitting a pre-proposal by this date is required. 

Invited Applicants Notified
June 15, 2018
Full proposals open to invited applicants on this date. 

Full Proposals Deadline 
August 17, 2018 at 4:59:59 PM ET

Award Announcement 
Winter 2018

Anticipated Funded Projects Start Date
February 2019

What We Are Looking For

To be considered, proposals must be transformative research that addresses and provides solutions to an intractable problem and/or accelerates innovation within the Challenge Areas. Proposals may be new projects or expansions of ongoing projects. If a request is to expand an ongoing research project, the request must adequately explain why additional funding for an existing project will enhance innovation or accelerate the project. FFAR will only consider research proposals that:

1) Have the potential for a transformative impact within the selected Challenge Area.The Challenge Areas are:

2) Demonstrate partnerships with different sectors (private, NGOs, governments,academia, and end users, etc.), such that research outcomes may be scalable and applicable to food and agriculture systems.

3) Contribute to the goal of sustainable food and agriculture, defined as practices that, “satisfy human food and fiber needs; enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends; make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls; sustain the economic viability of farm operation; and enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.” (Food and Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act of1990, Public Law 101-624, Title XVI, Subtitle A, Section 1603).

4) Serve the public good by making data open and accessible to the public, creating unique economic development opportunities, and/or contributing to food and agriculture workforce development.

Download the full request for applications for more details on this funding opportunity.

Eligibility

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research welcomes applications from all U.S. institutions of Higher Education, non-profit and for-profit organizations, government-affiliated researchers, and domestic and international organizations.

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support.

Download the full request for applications for more details on this funding opportunity.

Application Information

Download the full request for applications for more information about how to apply, submission guidelines, and other details.

Contact

For questions bout the grant process, please contact: grants@foundationfar.org

For scientific or programmatic questions, please contact:

Download the full request for applications.

Challenge Area Priorities

Food Waste and Loss Challenge Area

The FFAR Food Waste and Loss Challenge Area aims to address the social, economic, and environmental impacts from food waste and food loss. There are tremendous opportunities to influence economic impacts and environmental consequences through reclamation of agricultural products that are lost along the entire food chain. This Challenge Area targets innovative research that includes, but is not limited to, developing novel uses for agricultural waste, improving storage and distribution that leads to food loss reduction, developing tracking and monitoring, minimizing spoilage through pre- and post-harvest innovation, and changing behavior to reduce food waste.

While FFAR will not seek to limit pre-proposals to specific target areas within food waste and loss, we encourage applications that address the following research topics:

  • Innovative technologies to:
    • Enable secondary uses of waste streams
    • Improve or extend shelf life of food
    • Convert by-products generated on farm into new value-added products
  • Dynamic processing/distribution--research on (1) overcoming logistical barriers (e.g., sanitary design of waste stream handling and cold chain optimization for the small producer – scale processing); (2) opportunities for improving the supply chain to deliver better quality and more personalized products.

  • Establishment of consistent food loss and waste measurement across and within the food supply chain through a Gold Standard Measurement System and Digital Architecture (reporting tools, tracking & monitoring, etc.) to (1) provide actionable data for stakeholders in the food system to inform decision making in food waste prevention, and (2) help policy makers to assess community-wide progress and progress toward policy goals.
  • Food waste reduction solutions (prevention, donation, by-product utilization) result in net-positive environmental, economic, and social benefits, and in what context.
    Dynamics of the food system and/or strategies to reduce food in one portion of the supply chain and their potential impact on other areas of the chain (e.g., economic, food availability, life cycle environmental impact).

Download the full request for applications.

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Forging the Innovation Pathway to Sustainability Challenge Area

The FFAR Forging the Innovation Pathway to Sustainability Challenge Area aims to understand the barriers and decision-making processes that prevent the adoption of technology and research results into sustainable practices. This Challenge Area focuses on research that investigates, across the agriculture and food production system, the adoption dynamics and distribution patterns of technologies and practices that incorporate the latest research results, identifies factors that affect their adoption, and recommends solutions for addressing barriers.

FFAR is seeking ground-breaking research leading to increasing adoption of innovations across the U.S. food system. While FFAR will not seek to limit pre-proposals to specific target areas within this Challenge Area, we encourage research applications that apply systems approach to addressing obstacles to innovation adoption, starting from the initial stages of innovation to the final product (e.g., process, technology) to its diffusion and adoption at multiple scales as well as its impact(s) on users.

To assist with identifying a barrier or a group of barriers to be addressed through research, we encourage applicants to review key outcomes from a FFAR event analyzing barriers to adoption of a wide range of innovations and technological advances aimed at improving agricultural sustainability.

Download the full request for applications.

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Healthy Soils, Thriving Farms Challenge Area

The FFAR Healthy Soils, Thriving Farms Challenge Area aims to increase soil health by building knowledge, fueling innovation, and enabling adoption of existing or new innovative practices that improve soil health.

This Challenge Area targets innovative research that includes, but is not limited to, promoting robust soil microbial communities, improving cover crop cultivars, developing improved agronomic practices, characterizing soil health-related ecosystem services, increasing social and economic tractability of soil health promoting practices, and enhancing the efficacy of Extension services.

While FFAR will not seek to limit pre-proposals to specific target areas within soil health, we encourage applications that address the following research topics:

  • Available soil water holding capacity
  • Agricultural drainage systems
  • Soil infiltration
  • Drought resistant soil
  • Innovative/ alternative soil amendments
  • Optimization of soil moisture management strategies

Download the full request for applications.

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Making My Plate Your Plate Challenge Area

The FFAR Making My Plate Your Plate Challenge Area aims to find solutions to food and nutritional security by targeting aspects of the food system that increase the production and consumption of nutritious crops.

This Challenge Area targets innovative research that includes, but is not limited to, increasing the production and accessibility of nutritious fruits and vegetables, evaluating system constraints of nutritious fruit and vegetable introduction into the supply chain, profitability of different actors in the supply chain, and the affordability of food.

While FFAR will not seek to limit pre-proposals to specific target areas within the Making My Plate Your Plate Challenge Area, we encourage applications that address the following research topics:

  • Advancements in semi-controlled environments, including as it relates to extended growing seasons
  • Extending production in marginal environments
  • Overcoming technological barriers in crop adaptation to new/changing environments
  • Interventions aimed at improving food security within urban and rural populations
  • Technologies that support/facilitate small and mid-size supply chains

Download the full request for applications.

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Overcoming Water Scarcity Challenge Area

The Overcoming Water Scarcity Challenge Area aims to increase the efficiency of water use in agriculture, reduce agricultural water pollution, and develop water reuse technologies.

This Challenge Area will target innovative research that includes, but is not limited to, developing water conservation and reuse technology throughout the production chain, improving crop and livestock varietals/breeds, creating improved agronomic practices, increasing the social and economic tractability of water-conserving technologies/practices, and enhancing the efficacy of Extension services.

While FFAR will not seek to limit pre-proposals to specific target areas within water scarcity, we encourage applications that address the following research topics:

  • Increasing water productivity - “crop per drop”
  • Groundwater
  • Innovative water conservation technologies in agriculture

Download the full request for applications.

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Protein Challenge Area

The FFAR Protein Challenge Area aims to enhance and improve the environmental, economic and social sustainability of diverse proteins for a growing global population.

This Challenge Area targets innovative research that includes, but is not limited to, feed and nutrition efficiency, environmental sustainability, animal well-being, improved immunity and pathogen control and antibiotic stewardship.

FFAR encourages submission of innovative, systems-based and/or cross-disciplinary projects relevant to the Protein Challenge.

Download the full request for applications.

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Urban Food Systems Challenge Area

The FFAR Urban Food Systems Challenge Area aims to enhance our ability to feed urban populations and build urban economies through urban and peri-urban agriculture.

This Challenge Area targets innovative research that includes, but is not limited to, production methods, extended growing seasons, adoption/adaptation of nutritious and resilient crops, food system constraints that increase the access and affordability of foods.

While FFAR will not seek to limit pre-proposals to specific target areas within urban food systems, we encourage applications that address the following research topics:

  • Technologies that support/facilitate urban and local supply chains
  • Agricultural production within urban and per-urban environments
  • Technologies and/or novel methods that promote food and nutritional security within urban populations

Download the full request for applications.

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