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

There are no open funding opportunities for Urban Food Systems at this time.

You may submit research to our general call for concepts or subscribe to our mailing list to be notified of our funding opportunities.


There are no upcoming events for the Urban Food Systems Challenge Area at this time.

Event Recaps

Thank you for joining us during the Adapting New Crops to Indoor Environments webinar. To request a copy of the event recording, presentation slides, and Q&A transcript, please contact John Reich.

Grants Awarded

2018 Tipping Points Grants

Research teams in Colorado, Michigan, Ohio, New York and Texas were awarded Tipping Points grants totaling $4.4 million for research to improve interventions designed to enhance community food systems. The FFAR awards were matched by 38 companies, universities and organizations for a total investment of $8.9 million toward improving local health and economic opportunities. The Tipping Points program builds on investments already made that target food systems within communities and regions. Insights gained from these interventions and understanding their interdependence has potential to catalyze sustainable solutions that promote health and increase economic opportunities. Learn more.

2017 Seeding Solutions Grant

FFAR awarded a Seeding Solutions grant to AeroFarms, a leading indoor vertical farming company with global headquarters in Newark, New Jersey. 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. 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.

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