IonE all-stars win MnDRIVE Global Food Ventures grants

Ground Beef

Four Institute on the Environment–related research projects won grants from MnDRIVE Global Food Ventures, a state-funded grant program. Four IonE resident fellows, as well as IonE’s managing director, are named as co-investigators on projects that seek to develop holistic and integrated approaches to ensuring a sustainable, safe and resilient food system.

MnDRIVE – Minnesota’s Discovery, Research and Innovation Economy – is a partnership between the University of Minnesota and the state of Minnesota, administered through the University’s Office of the Vice President for Research. Funding is intended to foster discoveries in four of the state’s key and emerging industries: robotics, sensors and advanced manufacturing; global food ventures; advancing industry, conserving our environment; and discoveries and treatment for brain conditions.

“Continued progress in the field of agriculture is vital not only to Minnesota, with its more than 200 food companies throughout the state, but to the world as a whole,” said Brian Buhr, dean of the U’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS), in a press release.  “These groundbreaking proposals evaluated by the Global Food Ventures team will help address the critical challenges facing the U.S. and the world. ”

IonE-affiliated recipients of Global Food Ventures grants are:

Nicholas Jordan, CFANS professor and Lewis Gilbert, IonE’s managing director and chief operating officer, are on a team that aims to develop a master’s degree program in food systems, including defining core competencies, creating new ways to deliver curriculum, and enhancing or creating courses.

Matteo Convertino, School of Public Health assistant professor, will collaborate on a project to develop a new model for measuring and addressing salmonella contamination in ground meat and poultry to effectively and efficiently manage outbreaks.

Meggan Craft, assistant professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine, is part of a team that will tackle emerging and current threats to Minnesota livestock production by developing a surveillance system for early disease detection and designing disease control strategies to minimize disease impact.

Tim Smith, director of IonE’s NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Development and associate professor in CFANS, will co-investigate the urban organic waste cycle – where waste is generated, its flow through city-farm systems and how to re-engineer the flow to improve sustainability.

Banner photo: Danielle Scott (Flickr Creative Commons)