Bayer’s Grants4Ag program is a global initiative offering financial and scientific support for sustainable solutions to some of crop science’s biggest challenges. Since 2015 over 100 grants have been awarded to those developing novel solutions to research and development challenges in agriculture. As of today the application window is open for 2021/22 with winning projects expected to focus on advancing a more sustainable food system.
In addition to receiving a grant (typically ranging from €5,000 to €15,000), successful applicants will partner up with a Bayer scientist who will provide guidance and feedback on the project. Previous grant recipients highlight this professional mentorship as setting the Grants4Ag program apart from traditional funding programs.
“The Grants4Ag program is a great way to begin or boost a research project, “said Liz Skellam, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at North Texas University, who received a 2020 grant. “And the input from the Bayer team in arranging mentors and organizing regular updates is invaluable. Overall you get the freedom to work on a project of your choosing and develop it with the support of Bayer scientists.“
Bayer’s Grants4Ag program does not have any reporting requirements and each applicant retains ownership of any intellectual property developed.
Last year’s program awarded 24 grants after receiving more than 600 submissions from 39 countries around the world. “Our 2020 Grants4Ag program exceeded our expectations in attracting top proposals across a range of R&D activities,” said Phil Taylor, Open Innovation Lead for the Crop Science division at Bayer. “At Bayer, we promote the responsible use of the world’s resources so this year our Grants4Ag program will support those commitments to advance a more sustainable food system by highlighting projects in that area.”
This year, during the submission process Bayer’s Grants4Ag program will again partner with Halo, a marketplace that helps companies connect with scientists through an intuitive, streamlined interface.
“We’re thrilled to once again support Bayer on this year’s Grants4Ag program,” said Kevin Leland, CEO and Founder of Halo. “We designed Halo as a partnering platform where researchers can join forces to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges, and we look forward to seeing how Bayer’s collaborations with universities and start-ups will advance sustainable development in agriculture.“
Bayer’s 2021/22 Grants4ag program is seeking technical solutions in two key areas:
1. Sustainably protecting crops while preserving natural habitats
- Traits that improve nutrient and water use efficiency or increase carbon sequestration in row crops, fruits and vegetables.
- Novel approaches to optimize, identify and validate gene or protein expression, activity and regulation.
- Novel approaches to discover and optimize native crop genes
- Novel approaches to increase genetic diversity/variation in crops
- Novel approaches for reducing insect and nematode damage or reducing fungal growth and symptoms
- Novel approaches for increasing tolerance to herbicide applications and/or lower weed pressure
- Controlled-release technologies for active ingredients and biologicals
2. Digital tools for collecting, transmitting and analysing agronomic data
- Novel phenotyping and modelling tools for early detection and quantification of insects, nematodes and diseases or modelling tools for plant growth and development in response to abiotic stresses
- Machine learning and data modelling tools that provide actionable insights and recommendations for efficient use of crop inputs, e.g. for soil application scripting
- Precision technologies to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, such as in-field chemical residue measurement
- Artificial intelligence applications in active ingredient discovery and optimization processes
- Novel approaches for yield estimation
- Novel approaches for root phenotyping, esp. non-destructive methodologies
Full details on the program, application process and submission rules are available at halo.science/company/bayer-crop-science.
The deadline for submissions is August 31, 2021.