In 2013, NIFA signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the U.S.–Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD) to promote collaboration among U.S. and Israeli scientists and engineers.
While the MOU does not obligate either nation to specific funding, it offers the framework for facilitating collaborations through the partnership that BARD and the U.S. government have shared since 1977. This partnership allows Israeli scientists to collaborate with U.S. scientists in specific Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) programs. The partnership with BARD focuses on the goals of both organizations and in support of such critical topics as climate variability and change, animal production systems, breeding and genomics and water for agriculture.
In 2015, NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Water for Agriculture challenge area funded two NIFA-BARD collaborative projects:
- Rapid Hydrophobicity Sensing and Computing through MAV-based Hyperspectral Imaging; and
- Enhanced Resilience of Local Agricultural Water Supplies through Reuse of Municipal and Agricultural Wastewater: A Dynamic EC.
In fiscal year 2016, two NIFA-BARD collaborative projects were funded through the Water for Agriculture challenge area:
- NIFA-BARD Collaborative: Exposure Risks of Pathogens and Disinfection Byproducts From On-Site Treated Rainwater And Drainage Water for Irrigation; and
- Securing Water for and from Agriculture Through Effective Community and Stakeholder Engagement.
NIFA's Improving Food Safety program funded one project:
For more information, please read the BARD Memorandum of Understanding.
New Opportunity with BARD - BARD and the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) recently launched the Academic to Business Leverage Program - B-Lever Program. B-Lever is a new funding opportunity for Israeli scientists to collaborate with American scientists and small businesses. It encourages technological knowledge transfer between academia or research institutes and commercial companies. Its goal is to foster private sector commercialization of innovative agricultural technologies, products and services developed through collaborative research of Israeli and U.S. scientists.
Under B-Lever, an Israeli company can apply for a MAGNETON grant from the IIA. U.S. team members who are part of a BARD project can participate with a small business applying for funding under the USDA's Small Business Innovation Research Program - Phase I.
At the end of the second year of a BARD-supported project, U.S. and Israeli joint research teams under BARD may link to a commercial entity from either country. BARD-supported scientists can collaborate with the U.S. and/or Israeli business so the results of the combined research will enhance the development of a marketable technology, product or service.
U.S. team members in the BARD-supported project can participate with a small business applying for funding under the SBIR program. SBIR applicants must be small businesses with majority U.S. ownership or control. SBIR Phase I grants are limited to $100,000 and a duration of 8 months and are open to any small business concern that meets the SBIR eligibility requirements. SBIR Phase II grants are limited to $600,000 and duration of 24 months and are only open to previous Phase I awardees.