The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it is accepting applications for grants to establish and operate Agriculture Innovation Centers.
USDA is making $7.4 million available under the Agriculture Innovation Center Program. Agriculture Innovation Centers may use the grants to provide technical assistance to help agricultural producers develop and market value-added agricultural products using a variety of options, except joint marketing efforts. The centers may provide the following types of assistance:
- financial advisory services to develop, expand or operate a business owned by an agricultural producer;
- process development services, such as engineering, production system scale ups, scale production assessments and systems development;
- organizational assistance, including legal and technical advisory services;
- outreach assistance;
- technical assistance for product development, excluding research and development; and
- technical assistance for applied research to develop and operate processes and systems to produce and market value-added agricultural products.
Eligible applicants include nonprofit and for-profit corporations, public bodies and institutions of higher education. Consortiums are also eligible to apply, but they must select a single organization to represent the consortium as the applicant. Only the applicant organization must meet the eligibility requirements
Recipients must provide matching funds of least one-third of the total project budget. The total project budget must include both grant award and matching funds.