NIFA funds innovations at nexus of food, energy and water systems

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has funded two INFEWS grants in collaboration with the National Science Foundation. These four-year awards will foster collaboration among research communities and accelerate discovery and innovation at the nexus of food, energy and water systems.

Visualization and Decision Support for Cyber-Human-Physical Systems at the FEW Nexus (Track 2)

Research to Enable Innovative System Solutions (Track 3)

What are the new NSF INFEWS projects?

Through INFEWS, NSF and NIFA will support 17 new awards for an initial investment in Fiscal Years (FY) 2016 and 2017 of more than $40 million. The awards will foster collaboration among research communities and accelerate discovery and innovation at the nexus of food, energy and water systems.

NSF will manage 15 awards in four areas:

FEW System Modeling (Track 1)

 

Visualization and Decision Support for Cyber-Human-Physical Systems at the FEW Nexus (Track 2)

 

Research to Enable Innovative System Solutions (Track 3)

 

Education and Workforce Development (Track 4)

NSF invests $72 million in innovations at nexus of food, energy and water systems

To help secure the future of food, energy, and water systems while maintaining vital ecosystem services, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded more than $72 million for fundamental science and engineering research.

The investments are part of the NSF Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems program, known as INFEWS.

“Demands on food, energy and water will increase in the future as a result of population growth, migration patterns and urbanization in a changing climate,” says Roger Wakimoto, assistant director for NSF’s Geosciences Directorate. “NSF recognized the challenge ahead of us by creating the INFEWS initiative, which supports research on these interconnected needs. The results from these awards will benefit all of us.”

Continue reading on NSF.gov

Reflections on the recent National Council for Science and the Environment conference

As a federal representative from the agency that sponsors INFEWS, the first federal food-energy-water nexus solicitation, I was eager to attend this year’s National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) conference in January, which focused on the food-energy-water (FEW) nexus.

The conference did not disappoint.

NCSE brought together concerned citizens from across the globe to discuss problems and potential solutions associated with the FEW nexus. It was truly heartening to see so many interested participants take part in collaborative thinking on this multi-systems problem. Attendees included representatives from federal, state, and local governments, community organizations, academia, NGOs and industry.

In particular, I was struck by the realization that, while federal and private research can provide solutions to FEW nexus problems, successful adaptation and implementation must really happen at the state and local levels. Numerous examples of local communities bringing together resources to creatively combat food, energy, and water security and sustainability issues gave the academic researchers leads on future research topics.

The discussed issues represented a call-to-action for all public and private interests: Communities MUST work together to solve these problems and protect future food, water and energy security.

Collaborative research is the key to defining critical problems and developing appropriate solutions. To accomplish this, researchers must look outside their own research disciplines, as well as the research community itself, to truly understand and solve these problems. I look forward to the ideas proposed by future INFEWS principle investigators, and, in particular, how they plan to engage local communities in their efforts.

By Brandi Schottel, PhD, science analyst for Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS), Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems of the Engineering Directorate, National Science Foundation

The image above is of a 1.5-acre parcel of land owned by the City of Chicago provided to an urban farming initiative; image credit: Wikimedia Commons.

NSF Director’s notes on the nexus

Last week, NSF Director France Córdova attended the National Council for Science and the Environment’s 16th National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy and the Environment, which brought together leaders from research, business and government to focus attention on a pressing challenge: the nexus of food, energy and water.

“The conference offered a great opportunity to collaborate and exchange ideas to better manage these resources vital to life.”

Read more of her thoughts on INFEWS.

Shown above are NSF Director Córdova (right) with former NSF Director Rita Colwell, who received a lifetime achievement award from the National Council for Science and the Environment.

Welcome to What’s New with Food + Energy + Water

Welcome to the Food-Energy-Water (FEW) Nexus website and blog for the National Science Foundation and Nexus partners.

On Dec. 22, 2015, NSF and USDA-NIFA released our first funding solicitation, Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS), to examine this increasingly important topic. This website will provide updates, news and interest stories surrounding INFEWS activities and related programs. NSF and USDA-NIFA are just two of the many agencies and organizations interested in FEW Nexus topics. Therefore, this site will also feature global FEW Nexus news.

Today we wish to highlight NCSE’s 16th National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy, and the Environment. This year’s conference, held Jan. 19-21, 2016, will focus on the Food-Energy-Water Nexus. NSF will share information in several panels and talks during the conference, including this evening’s keynote address by the NSF Director, Dr. France Córdova.

Please stay posted for more exciting information on the FEW Nexus!

Sincerely,
JoAnn Lighty and Thomas Torgersen
NSF INFEWS Workgroup Co-Chairs

JoAnn Lighty, NSF INFEWS workgroup co-chair, is the division director for the NSF Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, and Environmental Transport, Directorate for Engineering.

Thomas Torgersen, NSF INFEWS workgroup co-chair, is a program director in the NSF Division of Earth Sciences, Directorate for Geological Sciences.