FARMS: A Regional Collaboration Awarded $160 Million NSF Grant to Lead AgTech Innovation

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FARMS: A Regional Collaboration Awarded $160 Million NSF Grant to Lead AgTech Innovation

The GFMEDC is part of a regional partnership that secured up to $160 Million in federal funding to support innovation, jobs and economic growth in Agriculture Technology (AgTech).

Recognized as an international leader in agriculture technology (AgTech), a coalition of five North Dakota entities was awarded up to $15 million over the next two years with potential to receive up to $160 million over ten years as part of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Regional Innovation Engines program. The competitive award will fund programs that help solve food insecurity and expand economic opportunities for not only more people and organizations, but for increasing the growth of existing crops and introducing new crops to market. The award highlights the state’s talent pool in AgTech and recognizes the unique collaborative partnership that came together to show how North Dakota feeds the world.

GFMEDC is one of the five founding core partners of the Food systems Adapted for Resiliency and Maximized Security (FARMS) Engine and has been involved since the initial conversations that evolved into the development of the application and proposal submission that led to the final NSF Engines award.

The GFMEDC serves on the Governance Board which oversees administration and operation of the FARMS Engine. The GFMEDC is a co-lead with Grand Farm on Stakeholder and Partnership Engagement which includes business development, business attraction, developing leads, capital formation, promoting the key assets and strengths of the region, and ultimately building a pipeline of entrepreneurs and innovators to introduce to the region as contributors to the continued buildout of the AgTech ecosystem.

Members of the FARMS committee along with ND Senator John Hoeven and NDSU President David Cook

The new National Science Foundation (NSF) Regional Innovation Engines program aims to empower all regions of the country, including the Midwest, to capitalize on their strengths. A multi-faceted program, FARMS seeks to build upon North Dakota’s reputation as a leader in AgTech and will deliver market-driven innovative research, education, workforce development, and DEIA (diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility) programs to accelerate and amplify the regional AgTech ecosystem to solve food insecurity and engage equitable agricultural opportunities.

NDSU Press Conference announcing NSF Engines FARMS Grant

The GFMEDC is proud to serve as one FARMS five core founding partners along with NDSU, Grand Farm, FMWF Chamber, and North Dakota Tribal College System. The GFMEDC looks forward to serving as an integral part of the FARMS initiative by leading business development efforts, supporting workforce development activities and overseeing stakeholder and partnership engagement functions.

GFMEDC’s Ryan Aasheim presenting at the press conference.

The National Science Foundation in partnership with other federal agencies is managing the Engines competition. The initial pool of 188 projects spanned all key technology areas and societal and economic challenges highlighted in the CHIPS and Science Act.

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