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K-State Today

October 20, 2020

Irrigation Innovation Consortium requests proposals for collaborative irrigation research

Submitted by Melissa Harvey

Center pivot irrigation in use

The Irrigation Innovation Consortium, of which Kansas State University is a founding member, is requesting proposals to support collaborative research aiming to accelerate the development and adoption of water and energy-efficient irrigation technologies, tools and practices. Successful research projects will address gaps important to the irrigation sector and/or end-users of irrigation in agriculture, landscape or turf applications.

The IIC has a total of $600,000 to award through this research funding opportunity. While the IIC has historically funded projects in the $50,000-$100,000 range, both larger and smaller project requests will be considered. Research projects should fit within one or more of IIC's priority research topic areas: water and energy efficiency, remote sensing and big data applications to improve irrigation water management, system integration and management, and acceleration of irrigation technology innovation and adoption.

"The IIC is unique in its goal to foster collaboration among university researchers and irrigation industry innovators," said IIC Executive Director Tim Martin. "We look forward to reviewing and supporting a variety of partnerships with the potential to substantially and positively impact the irrigation sector and irrigation end users, society, and/or the environment."

The IIC prioritizes precompetitive research projects that involve the pooling of resources and data for public benefit. While data and resulting publications from this research will be open and accessible, commercial endeavors resulting from the application of these data and research outcomes can be proprietary.

The IIC seeks to support projects that bring together partners that may normally be competitors who plan to work collaboratively on issues critical to the irrigation industry. Coalitions of partners involving industry members, academics, and others from different institutions are encouraged to submit proposals. At a minimum, projects must involve at least one industry partner and one IIC member university: Kansas State University, Colorado State, California State-Fresno, TX A&M, and University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

For interested applicants, the full RFP is available online. Lead principal investigators of project teams must submit a Letter of Intent by midnight MST on Nov. 23. Awards will be announced by Feb. 29, 2021; projects will have an anticipated start date of April 1, 2021, and a maximum duration of 21 months.

The IIC will host a webinar to provide an overview of the RFP and provide attendees an opportunity to ask questions on Oct. 22 at 2 p.m. MDT. The session will be recorded. Interested participants should RSVP to receive a calendar invite with call-in details or to request a link to the webinar recording.