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Aug. 17 briefing focuses on food, energy, water funding opportunities

jbrehm2, August 7, 2015

Aug. 17 briefing focuses on food, energy, water funding opportunities

New potential funding opportunities in food, energy and water research are the focus of an Aug. 17 faculty briefing from 1-3 p.m. at the Nebraska Innovation Campus conference center. UNL faculty across disciplines are encouraged to register and attend.

The meeting is the first of several fall 2015 events to organize UNL’s response to a major new federal focus area, the Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems (INFEWS) initiative. More than $225 million in funding opportunities are anticipated in fiscal year 2016 from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture with further federal investments expected in the future. An overview of this focus area will be provided by Ronnie Green, interim senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and Harlan vice chancellor of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Program leaders from NSF and USDA-NIFA will provide information on this new multi-agency focus area and share potential opportunities available through INFEWS. The program aims to boost basic research that addresses the challenges of increased agriculture and food production, including land-use change, urbanization, changing consumer demands, water contamination and climate change. The program builds on earlier NSF investments through the Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability area, aimed at mitigating and adapting to environmental changes that threaten sustainability.
Participants also will learn about Ideas Lab, a creative process to build connections among researchers and jump-start new collaborations. Prem Paul, vice chancellor for research and economic development, and Andy Burnett, chief executive officer of Knowinnovation, will share how UNL will use the process to help develop multidisciplinary teams prepared to successfully compete for federal funding. Tomas Helikar, assistant of biochemistry and computer science and engineering, and Glenn Ledder, professor of mathematics, will offer a faculty perspective on Ideas Lab.
The Aug. 17 meeting also features discussion on Food for Health, a University of Nebraska research initiative that is under development to build cross-campus collaborations in this area.
More information is available on the event website.