Biotechnology includes a broad range of biochemical, molecular, cellular, and/or genetic technologies that are applied to plants, animals, insects, and microbes to improve agricultural production and protection.
These technologies may be used for: genetic improvement of plants and animals to increase their yield; nutrient use efficiency, and/or disease resistance; production of bio-based fuels and products; and sustainable agricultural production practices.
NIFA provides competitive and capacity funding and program leadership for extramural research, higher education, and extension activities in food and agricultural biotechnology. Various competitive funding programs cover biotechnology research in the areas of plants, animals, insects, and microbes. Some of these programs include: Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, Biotechnology Risk assessment Grants (BRAG) program, Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) program, and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Please see the description in each programs for specific research priorities and eligibility.