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Midwest Advanced Food Manufacturing Alliance


The purpose of the Midwest Advanced Food Manufacturing Alliance ("MAFMA" or "the Alliance") is to expedite the development of new manufacturing and processing technologies for food and related products derived from U.S.-produced crops and livestock. The Alliance makes grants to research scientists in food science and technology, food engineering, nutrition, microbiology, computer sciences, and other relevant areas from 13 leading Midwestern universities. These funds are matched by support from and collaboration with private sector. Funding is awarded on a competitive basis to scientists who have obtained matching funds from non-federal sources for specific research projects in processing, packaging, storage, and transportation of food products. The close cooperation between corporate and academic researchers ensures that the latest scientific advances are applied to practical problems and that any solutions are efficiently transferred to and implemented by the private sector.

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NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Close cooperation between corporate and university researchers will assure the latest scientific advances are applied to the most relevant problems, solutions transferred, and used by the private sector. The purpose of this project is to expedite the development of new manufacturing and processing technologies for food and related projects derived from U.S. produced crops and livestock.


APPROACH: The Midwest Advanced Food Manufacturing Alliance will solicit research proposals from faculty of the 13 affiliated universities. All faculty at MAFMA participating universities are eligible to submit proposals. Further, by entering cooperative agreements with investigators at MAFMA universities, researchers from any U.S. research institution may be included in the proposal. MAFMA will only require that the principal investigator must be from a participating university. A call for proposals will be sent to all food science, nutrition, and related departments at these universities. Although there will be no limit on the number of proposals per university, each principal investigator will be allowed only one proposal in this competition. The topical areas for the proposals will be rather broad. The proposals will be peer-reviewed for scientific merit by qualified scientists from universities, industry, and other organizations not affiliated with the university departments, faculty seeking the grant support, or with the corporations providing the matching funding. This peer-review team will be selected by the Executive Secretary, and the proposal review process will be coordinated by a subcommittee of MAFMA Executive Board selected by the MAFMA Executive Secretary. This peer-review process will insure that MAFMA-funded projects are pillared by sound science. Final selection of projects will be based on peer reviews, industrial interest, matching fund commitments (including level of industry matching), and availability of MAFMA funds. The final selection shall be made by the subcommittee of the MAFMA Executive Board. The Midwest Advanced Food Manufacturing Alliance anticipates funding a number of one-year research projects. Project awards will be limited to $50,000 per year in Alliance research funds. The Alliance requires that its research funds be matched at least 1:1 with non-federal (and preferably industry) funds. Principal investigators are responsible for securing matching fund commitments for proposed research projects. The match may come from industry, state or local governments, foundations, universities, etc. Because 2009 is the fifteenth year of MAFMA activity, continuation proposals will be allowed (such proposals are required to demonstrate a new source of matching funds). Projects that receive MAFMA research awards must be completed within 12 months after the date of the award and a final project report must be submitted to MAFMA within 30 days of the project completion. Extensions are permissible only with approval of the MAFMA Executive Secretary. Based on historical project data, the Alliance would prefer to make larger financial awards to a greater number of projects and to increase the length of the project period. However, thus far, the funding has not allowed for such an expansion.

Flores, Rolando
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
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