The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the availability of up to $5 million for research to strengthen the science behind the next generation of internet-connected agricultural implements and resources through the Cyber Physical Systems program. Funding for this program is made through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

According to NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy, “data driven analytical tools throughout the food supply chain—from production through processing, transportation, and food storage—will allow us to make smarter decisions that can promote efficient food production, reduce food waste, and increase food safety. These investments in cyber physical systems will improve efficiencies across the agricultural industry.”

CPS technologies can increase efficiencies in agribusiness, provide economic opportunities to workers and promote practices that sustain the environment. Increased secure access to information also helps producers meet the challenges of global population growth, food waste and the impacts of a changing climate.

Applications are due by March 6, 2017.

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