SMART Broiler Informational Webinar - April 25, 2019

About the Research Initiative

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) and McDonald’s Corporation have teamed up to offer multiple grants (totaling $4 million) to the groups or individuals who successfully develop and commercialize  automated monitoring tools that can objectively assess key animal welfare indicators in broiler chickens.

Existing methods for assessing animal welfare rely on human observation and subjective scoring. This initiative aims to identify Sensors, Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technologies (SMART) solutions to provide objective and comprehensive information about broiler welfare across the supply chain.

SMART Broiler seeks applications to develop technologies that capture key welfare indicators in commercial broiler chicken facilities. This initiative will fulfill a need for commercially-feasible tools that enable real-time, quantitative assessment of behavior, health and well-being of animals in large-scale poultry facilities.

Key Dates & Important Information

Phase I: Early Testing and Refinement
Objective: Explore potential technologies and monitoring methods
Number of Anticipated Awards: 1-4
Maximum Request: $500,000
Pre-Proposal Due Date: May 29, 2019
Full Proposal Due Date (if selected): September 5, 2019
Notifications for Awardees: November-December 2019
Anticipated Project Start Date: January 2020
Phase I Duration: 18 months

Phase II: Validation of Welfare Assessment Tools
Objective: Refinement and large-scale validation of technologies
Number of Anticipated Awards: 2
Maximum Request: $1,000,000
Phase I Report Due Date: June 2021
Anticipated Renewal Start Date: July 2021
Duration: 18 months

The SMART Broiler initiative is broken out into two distinct phases:

Phase I: Early Testing and Refinement is accepting applications from April 2, 2019 through September 5, 2019. Phase I is designed for applicants to explore potential technologies and monitoring methods. FFAR anticipates funding up to 4 grants during Phase I.

Phase II: Validation of Welfare Assessment Tools is designed to refine and validate the most promising technologies from Phase I. Phase II funding is in addition to the previous awards and is dependent upon demonstrated progress in Phase I and submission of a new work plan.

Application Submission Guidelines

SMART Broiler applications must be completed and submitted through FFAR’s online grant management system.

New users can register for an account by clicking the green “Register” button at the top right corner of the home page. You will receive a confirmation email to activate your account before you can sign-in to your account. Once you log in, click on the corresponding program to start your application.

Only applications submitted through this portal will be considered eligible for evaluation. FFAR will not accept applications submitted by any other medium.


Any domestic or international public or private institution, consortium, non-profit organization, for-profit company, tribal government entity or any combination of the above is eligible to apply.


For questions about SMART Broiler, please contact:

Tim Kurt
Scientific Program Director