The Food and Nutrition program was launched in May 2022 as part of BARD’s strategy of increasing the engagement of academia with the private sector and expediting food research for application and commercialization. With an investment of $12 million (40 million NIS), this unique collaborative framework runs jointly with the Israeli Innovation Authority (IIA) and support Israeli researchers who partner with Israeli food and nutrition companies together with U.S. scientists funded by USDA-NIFA.
Food and nutrition play a crucial role in health promotion and chronic disease prevention. Both the U.S. and Israel are experiencing a significant rise in highly-processed food and drink products in the market. In addition, not enough crop species are bred for high nutritional value and there is a decrease in natural products and alternatives for the food industry. These circumstances lead to an increase in poor nutrition, causing obesity and malnutrition. Improving the nutritional value of food is essential to combat food insecurity and improve health and disease prevention in both nations and globally.
International research efforts in several areas of research and development will help form the strategies to advance nutrition science and improve food production and consumption. Agricultural strategies will benefit from the R&D impact. Policy makers can use research outputs to minimize risks and maximize the benefits to nutrition and health across the entire value chain, from production to consumption.
The USDA,NIFA-BARD-IIA Food and Nutrition program supports U.S. and Israeli researchers/investigators working together, as a consortium, with an Israeli company that aims to develop innovative food and nutrition technologies. IP, if available, must be owned by the investigators’ institution(s). Any existing or pending agreements between the NIFA-funded U.S. scientists and their institutions with U.S. or international companies are not affected by this funding program.
The Israeli research group will be subject to IIA guidelines and must be paired with an Israeli company. The research teams from both countries will be committed to the USDA-NIFA-BARD guidelines. As defined in BARD’s detailed research priorities, this program aims to improve food and nutrition, increase the variety and availability of food, and support healthy consumption.
Cooperative research entails active collaboration between Israeli and American research scientists and an Israeli company. Collaboration is limited to the list of approved U.S. scientists who have been funded by USDA,NIFA (see website for list).
BARD, in collaboration with IIA, hosted a webinar to present the program as well as to encourage scientists and companies to find each other. Furthermore, upon request, BARD will assist scientists in finding an Israeli company. Please send the BARD office a brief abstract by e-mail. In your email identify the main ideas of the proposed work and include a short CV. Foreground IP rights will be agreed in advance in a consortium agreement between the investigators/institutions and an MOU with the Israeli company.
Awards are based upon the details of the budget justification, the number of funded institutions in the proposed project (up to 3 Israeli research institutions) and the nature of the specific research program. There are two available tracks for submission to the IIA:
Eligibility- who may apply
Any Israeli investigator who is a member of a non-profit or government Israeli research institution or university who has the written consent of an approved NIFA investigator.
The company partner: An industrial corporation, with knowledge and interest relevant to the research plan, expressing an interest in commercializing and translating the knowledge or technology that may be generated by the funded research. The company is obligated to fund at least 10% of the approved budget. In return for its 10% investment in the co-funded research, the company has the first right of look.
The joint program of USDA,NIFA BARD and the Israeli Innovation Authority will be carried out under the authority of the Innovation Authority Law and the relevant benefit track that will be approved by the sanctioned bodies in accordance with the provisions of the law. The Israeli partner will be funded according to guidelines published by the IIA.
Regulatory Agency Requirements
Proposals and grants must adhere to the policies and regulations established by the regulatory agencies of the country in which the research is to be conducted. Exchange of GMO, exotic species and other materials between countries may require special authorization. The signature of the authorized officer of the relevant research authority indicates that these policies and regulations were met.
The pre-proposal deadline for 2023 is March 15.
The evaluation process:
1. The Israeli investigators will submit a pre-proposal which will describe in short, the research goal, objectives, contribution of collaboration to the research objectives, consent of the NIFA scientist and a brief work plan. The pre-proposal will specify the role of each partner in the consortium. The pre-proposal deadline for 2023 is March 15, 2023.
2. The pre-proposal will be evaluated by the BARD committee. An IIA representative will join the committee for recommendation procedure together with a NIFA representative. BARD will notify all applicants (successful or not) no later than April 5, 2023.
3. An approved per-proposal with an invitation to submit a full application is required for submission. Applicants that received an approval will be invited to submit a full proposal, in keeping with the IIA program's guidelines (Hebrew). The detailed research plan should include the joint research collaboration between research groups and must be submitted in English by June 6,2023.
4. A meeting with all parties in the project together with an IIA evaluator will be held within one month of submitting the full application. Any supplemental material requested must be sent to the IIA evaluator no later than two weeks prior to the meeting.
5. Applicants will be notified of the funding decision no earlier than 11 weeks following submission of the full application to the IIA.
List of Relevant Links:
FUN BI Research Priorities
List of USDA,NIFA -AFRI Projects
Pre Proposal Guidelines
IIA Guidelines (in Hebrew)
NOFAR track guidelines (in Hebrew)
MAGNATON track guidelines (in Hebrew)
Frequently Asked Questions