Funding for Food, Energy, and Water Systems Research

DanIndustry News Release, Water

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the availability of up to $5 million in funding for research to better understand how food, energy and water systems interact, and how they can be sustained. This funding is made available through Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems (INFEWS), a federal research partnership between NIFA and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

“Our food, energy and water systems are taxed by numerous challenges, from climate change to food waste, to disconnected policies on food management, water planning and energy production,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “The solution to these problems starts with research partnerships that will lead to better technologies, policies and public education.”


Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy

INFEWS grants fund scientific investigation into these complex systems and how society can better prepare for the future. NSF and NIFA encourage international collaborative research involving scientists and engineers from a range of disciplines and organizations to solve the significant global challenges at the nexus of these complex and interdependent systems.

The INFEWS initiative seeks to:

  • Advance our understanding of the food-energy-water system through quantitative, predictive and computational modeling, including support for relevant cyberinfrastructure,
  • Develop real-time, cyber-enabled interfaces that improve understanding of the behavior of food-energy-water systems and increase decision support capability, and
  • Enable research that will lead to innovative solutions to critical food-energy-water systems problems.

The deadline for INFEWS applications is March 6, 2017.

Eligible applicants for the NIFA contribution to the program include State agricultural experiment stations; colleges, universities and university research foundations, federal agencies, national laboratories, and other research organizations. See the request for applications for details.

Since 2009, USDA has invested $19 billion in research both intramural and extramural. During that time, research conducted by USDA scientists has resulted in 883 patent applications filed, 405 patents issued and 1,151 new inventions disclosures covering a wide range of topics and discoveries. To learn more about how USDA supports cutting edge science and innovation, visit the USDA Medium chapter Food and Ag Science Will Shape Our Future.

NIFA invests in and advances innovative and transformative research, education and extension to solve societal challenges and ensure the long-term viability of agriculture. NIFA support for the best and brightest scientists and extension personnel have resulted in user-inspired, groundbreaking discoveries that are combating childhood obesity, improving and sustaining rural economic growth, addressing water availability issues, increasing food production, finding new sources of energy, mitigating climate variability and ensuring food safety.

To learn more about NIFA’s impact on agricultural science, visit, sign up for email updates or follow us on Twitter @usda_NIFA, #NIFAimpacts.