ARPA-E Announces Workshop on Energy-Smart Farming

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) will host a workshop on the integration of 21st Century technologies into farming practices to maximize crop yields and meet the rising global demands for food, fuel, and fiber.  The workshop, entitled The Energy-Smart Farm: Distributed Networks for Highly Variable and Resource Constrained Crop Protection Environments, will convene an interdisciplinary group of experts from the biological, computational, and physical sciences to address the current limitations to agricultural growth.  Researchers interested in pursuing funding from ARPA-E in these areas are highly encouraged to submit applications to participate, as ARPA-E uses the results of these workshops to formulate new programs and funding opportunities.  The workshop will take place from February 13-14, 2018 in Phoenix, AZ.

The workshop will specifically address inefficiencies in land management practices and the identification of environmental and biological variables that contribute to growing yield gaps in the agricultural sector.  As the agricultural workforce shrinks and farms continue to grow to meet demands, there is an opportunity to utilize low-cost, energy efficient technologies to stimulate sustainable growth while limiting energy consumption.  The Agency’s specific technology interests include:

  • Sensors
  • Low-cost, small-scale computing “at the edge”
  • Wireless sensor networks
  • Multiscale, multimodal sensor deployment and integration
  • Analytics and Machine Learning

ARPA-E anticipates that the outcomes of this workshop will form the framework of a new research program in the development and deployment of innovative agricultural technologies.  To this end, the objectives of the workshop include:

  • “The identification of specific technical barriers to the development and adoption of the aforementioned tools at acceptable cost to growers;
  • Realistic timeframes and technical metrics for successful prototypes;
  • New professional relationships among disparate technical communities in the biological, chemical, engineering, and computational sciences, which could form the basis for teaming opportunities.”

Applications should include a CV or resume with a description of the applicant’s relevant expertise, and a brief explanation of the applicant’s perspective on the challenges related to the workshop.  Applications should be submitted to with the subject line “The Energy-Smart Farm Workshop.”

Sources and Additional Information:

More information about the Energy-Smart Farm workshop is available at

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