BARD is a competitive funding program for mutually beneficial, mission-oriented, strategic and applied research of agricultural problems, jointly conducted by American and Israeli scientists. Most BARD projects focus on increasing agricultural productivity, particularly in hot and dry climates, and emphasize plant and animal health, food quality and safety, and environmental issues. BARD also supports international workshops. BARD offers fellowships for postdoctoral research, senior research scientists and graduate students. BARD is empowered to fund scientists affiliated with public or not-for-profit, private entities and to encourage the exchange of agricultural scientists, engineers or other agricultural experts.
During its 35 years of operation BARD has funded over 1300 projects with a total investment of more than $300 million. In addition it is administrating collaborative research between agricultural scientists in Israel and their colleagues in Canada and Australia.
Recently BARD established the MARD program to promote cooperative agricultural research and development activities between scientists in Israel, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and the United States. During its five years of operation, MARD has funded numerous successful regional workshops, mutual visits, training seminars and similar activities that have enhanced the spirit of collaboration between Palestinian, Jordanian, Israeli and US investigators. MARD now offers Facilitating Grants to enable small multinational research groups to jointly prepare a detailed research proposal to be submitted to other international granting organizations.
An independent, 20-year external review of BARD (2000) examined the scientific, agricultural and economic impact of BARD funded research as well as its operation. The Report of the Review Committee is available upon request.
The Committee concluded that: