USAID counselor Chris Milligan announces new partnerships with Feed The Future Innovation Labs

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Counselor Chris Milligan on Wednesday highlighted two new partnerships under Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global food security initiative.

Feed the Future’s 22 Innovation Labs, in partnership with more than 70 U.S. universities, lead research on all aspects of food security and nutrition, seeking to address the most pressing food security challenges. Facing new threats to global food security from the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and conflict, Feed the Future is rising to meet those challenges and will double down on efforts to end global hunger and malnutrition.

In alignment with those goals, Counselor Milligan announced the following partnerships:

Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture

USAID has awarded $36 million to the University of California, Davis to lead the Innovation Lab on Horticulture, which will increase the productivity of small-scale horticulture producers through sustainability, storage and commercial innovations, all while promoting climate-smart farms. Horticulture is known for its unique ability to deliver in three areas of development, including income growth on small plots of land, higher connectivity to the commercial sector, and high nutritional delivery.

Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Systems for Nutrition

At the United Nations Food Systems Summit, USAID announced a $25 million award, with an additional $15 million in potential funding, for Tufts University to lead the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Systems for Nutrition. This Innovation Lab builds off of ten years of leadership at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University on the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition that developed a robust evidence base on systems-level approaches to inform food systems transformation that promote improved nutrition, particularly for mothers and children.

In addition, USAID is excited to announce two new research awards:

Innovation-to-Impact Associate Award

The Innovation-to-Impact 2.0 Associate Award was awarded to the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Soybean Value Chain Research, led by the University of Illinois. This $5 million award will ensure Feed the Future research investments build stronger partnerships with the commercial sector, including in the crops, livestock, poultry, and aquaculture sectors.

Minority-Serving Institutions Fellowship Award

USAID announced an associate award for the Minority-Serving Institutions Fellowship to the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Crop Improvement, led by Cornell University. This $515,000, three-year award will support Lab partners to engage Minority-Serving Institutions, and provide a model for faculty on culturally appropriate mentorship and nurturing the talents of all students. Fellows will conduct food security research and support international development, growing skills and networks, while contributing to a reduction in hunger, malnutrition, and poverty. This fellowship aligns with USAID’s commitments to elevate diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in our work.

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