Hearing Update: House Agriculture Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research Holds Hearing to Discuss Agricultural Research

Lewis-Burke Associates LLC – March 24, 2017 On March 16, the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research held a hearing to discuss agricultural research programs and priorities: one of a series of hearings to examine all titles of the next farm bill.  Witnesses included Dr. Jay Akridge, Dean of the College of Agriculture … Read more

Funding Opportunity: ARPA-E Solicits Proposals for Macroalgal Biomass Cultivation Technologies

 Lewis-Burke Associates LLC – December 19, 2016 The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released a $25 million Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for its new MacroAlgae Research Inspiring Novel Energy Resources (MARINER) program. MARINER seeks to support the large-scale cultivation of macroalgae as a renewable feedstock for energy … Read more

Policy Update: Congress Passes American Innovation and Competitiveness Act

Lewis-Burke Associates LLC – December 16, 2016 On December 16, Congress passed the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (AICA, S. 3084) which sets policy for the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education, and other cross-agency research programs. The legislation represents the culmination of … Read more

ASPB and Other Leading Scientific Organizations Reach Out to Trump

Recently, ASPB and AAAS and 27 other leading U.S. scientific organizations and professional societies sent a letter to President-Elect Donald Trump.  The letter urges Trump to “quickly appoint a science advisor with the title of Assistant to the President for Science and Technology who is a national respected leader with the appropriate engineering, scientific, management … Read more

Appropriations Update: Congress Passes Continuing Resolution to Fund the Government through April 28, 2017

On December 9, Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR) to fund government operations through April 28, 2017.  The bill passed with bipartisan support, with a Senate vote of 63-36 and a House vote of 326-96.  The first CR of fiscal year (FY) 2017 funded government operations through December 9 and with only one hour to … Read more

Agency Update: DARPA Announces Proposers Day for New Insect Allies Program

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Biological Technologies Office (BTO) has announced a Proposers Day for the new Insect Allies program.  The Insect Allies program will seek to “provide an alternative to traditional agricultural threat response, using targeted gene therapy to protect mature plants within a single growing season.”  Insect Allies is a unique … Read more

NIFA Introduces FACT Program for Data Science in Agriculture

On October 10th, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) convened a summit in Chicago for the purpose of identifying the future of data in agriculture and building on existing US government-wide investments in big data.  NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy, who attended the summit, announced a new initiative named … Read more

Funding Opportunity: NSF Releases Solicitation for Transdisciplinary Research in Principles of Data Science (TRIPODS)

Last week, the National Science Foundation (NSF) released a solicitation for a new program, Transdisciplinary Research in Principles of Data Science (TRIPODS). This program aims to bring together the statistics, mathematics, and theoretical computer science communities to develop the theoretical foundations of data science through integrated research and training activities.  TRIPODS builds off existing investments … Read more

Congress Averts Federal Government Shutdown and Passes CR

On September 28, Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR) to fund government operations through December 9.  With only two days to spare before the end of the fiscal year and a government shutdown, the bill passed with rare bipartisan support, with a Senate vote of 72-26 and a House vote of 342-85.  The CR funds … Read more

ASPB Press Release: White House Announces Proposed Update to the Regulatory System for Biotechnology Products

Periodic review of the regulatory regime governing the use of biotechnology products is an important aspect of maintaining public safety and ensuring consumer confidence. (ASPB) appreciates the efforts of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture … Read more

ARPA-E Releases RFI on Waste Heat Recovery and Announces Workshop on Anaerobic Digestion

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) has released a request for information (RFI) seeking input to inform future programs in waste heat recovery.  In addition, ARPA-E is hosting a workshop on anaerobic digestion in October 2016 in the Washington, D.C. area.  Those interested in working with ARPA-E on these issues … Read more

Policy Update: NSF Big Ideas for Future Investment

The National Science Board (NSB) met on August 9 and 10, 2016, under its new leadership of Maria Zuber (MIT) as Chair and Diane Souvaine (Tufts University) as Vice-Chair.  During the meeting, the National Science Foundation (NSF) Director, France Córdova and a number of Assistant Directors presented an update on the ten “big ideas” for … Read more

ASPB Members Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Several distinguished plant scientists – all of them members of the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) – have been elected as members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Five ASPB members were elected to this year’s NAS class: New members: Julia … Read more

Plant scientists: GM technology a safe tool to help meet food supply demands Washington, DC

More than 1,000 scientists from nonprofit, corporate, academic, and private institutions say public doubts about genetically modified food crops are hindering the next Green Revolution. In a letter published in the journal Science, six researchers from three institutions explain their recent petition in support of science-based criteria in guiding the safe and effective employment of … Read more

Analysis of the President’s FY 2017 Budget Request

President Obama released the last budget request of his Administration on February 9th. The budget proposal nominally adheres to the top defense and non-defense discretionary spending levels agreed to by Congress in the fall of last year. However, the White House is relying on mandatory spending, which requires Congress to pass legislation to make these … Read more

Ring in the New Year with the GE Crops Study!

The Genetically Engineered Crops: Past Experience and Future Prospects Committee at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will release its report in 2016! The committee held 18 information-gathering sessions on a variety of topics, including genetically engineered quality traits. Check out the brief presentation below to learn the basics of quality traits and … Read more

Federal Programs to Support Early Career Faculty

In an increasingly competitive environment to earn federal grants, opportunities exist to help researchers at the beginning of their careers. The following report contains an overview of federal government funding opportunities and fellowship programs that provide support for early career researchers working at universities or other non-government institutions. Some programs provide support for early career … Read more

Several Distinguished Plant Scientists Elected to National Academy of Sciences 2015 Class

We are pleased to announce that several distinguished plant scientists – most of them members of the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) – have been elected as members or foreign associates of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Three members of the … Read more

Plant Science Decadal Vision Rolls out at AAAS

On December 3rd, 2013, the National Plant Science Council partnered with the American Chemical Society; the Alliance of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Science Societies; and the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) to co-host a briefing on the report Unleashing a Decade of Innovation in Plant Science: A Vision for 2015-2025. The briefing was also … Read more