I wonder just how much funding the US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) is devoting to nanotechnology this year (2015). I first came across an announcement of $23M in the body of a news item about Zinkicide (my April 7, 2015 posting),
Found in Florida orchards in 2005, a citrus canker, citrus greening, poses a serious threat to the US state’s fruit industry. An April 2, 2105 news item on phys.org describes a possible solution to the problem,
Since it was discovered in South Florida in 2005, the plague of citrus greening has spread to nearly every grove in the state, stoking fears among growers that the $10.7 billion-a-year industry may someday disappear.
Now the U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded the University of Florida a $4.6 million grant aimed at testing a potential new weapon in the fight against citrus greening: Zinkicide, a bactericide invented by a nanoparticle researcher at the University of Central Florida.
An April 29, 2015 article by Diego Flammini for Farm.com describes the latest USDA nanotechnology funding announcement,
In an effort to increase America’s food security, nutrition, food safety and environmental protection, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced $3.8 million in nanotechnology research grants.
Flammini lists three of the eight recipients,
University of Georgia
With $496,192, the research team will develop different sensors that are able to detect fungal pathogens in crops. The project will also develop a smartphone app for farmers to have so they can access their information whenever necessary.
The school will use its $450,000 to conduct a nationwide survey about nanotechnology and gauge consumer beliefs about it and its relationship to health. Among the specifics it will touch on is the use of visuals to communicate nanotechnology.
University of Massachusetts
The researchers will concentrate their $444,200 on developing a platform to detect pathogens in food that is better than the current methods.
A full list of the recipients can be found in the April 27, 2015 USDA news release featuring the $3.8M in awards,
- The University of Georgia, Athens, Ga., $496,192
- University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa., $496,180
- University of Kentucky Research Foundation, Lexington, Ky., $450,000
- University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Mass., $444,200
- North Dakota State University, Fargo, N.D., $149,714
- Rutgers University, New Brunswick. N.J., $450,000
- Pennsylvania State University, University Park, University Park, Pa., $447,788
- West Virginia University, Morgantown, W. Va., $496,168
- University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wis., $450,100
You can find more details about the awards in this leaflet featuring the USDA project descriptions for the eight recipients.