Oct. 19 2020 08:25 AM

Research projects funded through this RFP will equip the irrigation industry and irrigation end users with cutting-edge tools and strategies.

The Irrigation Innovation Consortium has $600,000 available to support collaborative research that aims to accelerate the development and adoption of water- and energy-efficient irrigation technologies, tools and practices. Research projects will address gaps important to the irrigation sector and end users of irrigation in agriculture, landscape or turf applications.

The IIC prioritizes pre-competitive research projects that involve pooling of resources and data for public benefit. While data and resulting publications from this research will be open and accessible, commercial endeavors resulting from the application of these data and research outcomes can be proprietary.

Projects should fit within one or more of IIC’s priority research topic areas:

  • Water and energy efficiency
  • Remote sensing and big data applications to improve irrigation water management
  • System integration and management
  • Acceleration of irrigation technology innovation and adoption

While the IIC has historically funded projects in the $50,000-$100,000 range, it is open to reviewing larger and smaller project requests. IIC seeks to support projects that bring together partners that may normally be competitors who plan to work collaboratively on issues critical to the irrigation industry. Coalitions of partners involving industry members, academics and others from different institutions are encouraged submit proposals. At a minimum, projects must involve at least one industry partner and one IIC member university (Colorado State, Kansas State, California State-Fresno, Texas A&M and University of Nebraska-Lincoln).

The full RFP is available at irrigationinnovation.org/proposals. Lead principal investigators of project teams must submit a letter of intent by midnight Mountain Time on Nov. 23, 2020. Detailed instructions on what to include in LOIs are available at the link above. The IIC’s Research Steering Committee will review LOIs and rank proposed project concepts based on the criteria provided in the RFP. Selected teams will be invited to participate in a virtual interview in mid-December 2020 with members of the RSC to discuss their project’s concept and potential impacts in greater depth. After interviews in early January 2020 the IIC will invite finalist teams to submit full proposals that will be due in mid-February 2021. Project selection will be announced by Feb. 29; projects will have an anticipated start date of April 1, 2021 and a maximum duration of 21 months.

IIC funding requests, inclusive of allowable indirect costs, must be accompanied by a total non-federal match of 1.25x, where x is the amount of IIC funding requested.

“The IIC is unique in its goal to foster collaboration among university researchers and irrigation industry innovators,” says IIC Executive Director Tim Martin. “We look forward to reviewing and supporting a variety of partnerships with the potential to substantially and positively impact irrigation sector and irrigation end users, society and/or the environment.”

IIC is hosting a webinar to provide an overview of the RFP and provide attendees an opportunity to ask questions on Oct. 22, at 2 p.m. Mountain Time. The session will be recorded.