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INFEWS/T3 RCN: Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and United States Energy-Food Biotech Innovations Network (BACUS)

Ruben Ceballos; Michelle Evans-white; Alvaro Durand-morat; Leandro Mozzoni
University of Arkansas
Start date
End date
The Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems Track 3 Research Coordination Network (INFEWS/T3 RCN): Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, and the United States (BACCUS) Energy-Food Biotech Innovations project is focused on facilitating and coordinating research between: (a) U.S. faculty-scientists affiliated with the Minority Institution Research Collaborative (MIRC); and, (b) MIRC affiliates and collaborating scientists from partner institutions in South America (and beyond). The project supports the integration of research and technologies related to feedstock/crop sciences (food), biofuels (energy) as well as bioremediation and availability of water for food-energy systems. The overarching goal of the BACUS INFEWS RCN project is to develop long-lasting and impactful collaborations in FEWS research between faculty at U.S. minority-serving institutions (MSIs) and those at international partner institutions. The BACUS network is based on emerging collaborations between U.S. scientists and scientists at key research institutions, government labs, and private corporations in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and Chile. The network also includes U.S. corporate partners and collaborations with the World Trade Center Arkansas/Arkansas Economic Development Commission. Project activities are guided by input from the U.S. Department of State to ensure that research objectives, technology transfer, and data sharing activities are aligned with federal policies and initiatives regarding international exchange and science diplomacy.

Four NSF INFEWS BACUS network project themes are identified: (1) Food vs. Energy Feedstocks; (2) Emergent Biofuels Technologies; (3) Food and Energy Models and FEWS Model Coupling; and, (4) Energy Impacts on Water Systems. Coordination of collaborative projects under these themes will be pursued with the goal of determining whether select prototype FEWS technologies can be implemented in a manner that yields significant impact on local, national, and regional economies. Small and medium scale systems will be studied as part of the scope of this work and data emanating from these efforts will be used to develop mathematical models that estimate FEWS technology impact on larger scale markets. Fundamental methods in natural sciences and engineering will be employed and complemented by economic forecasting methods, modeling, and other analytical approaches. This project addresses a critical need to determine the potential impact of emerging technologies on food, energy, and water systems from a national and international perspective.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
Funding Source
United States Nat'l. Science Fndn.
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Policy and Planning
Predictive Microbiology