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. <P>Research scientists in food science and technology, food engineering, nutrition, microbiology, computer sciences, and other relevant areas from 13 leading Midwestern universities, with the support of and in collaboration with private sector, U.S. food processing companies and their research scientists will conduct the work of the Alliance.<P> Funding will be awarded on a competitive basis to university scientists who have obtained matching funds from non-federal sources for specific research projects involving the processing, packaging, storage, and transportation of food products. The close cooperation between corporate and university researchers will assure that the latest scientific advances are applied to the most relevant problems and that any solutions will be efficiently transferred and used by the private sector.
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 products derived from U.S. produced crops and livestock. <P> Approach: The Midwest Advanced Food Manufacturing Alliance will solicit research proposals from faculty of the 13 affiliated universities. All faculty of MAFMA participating universities are eligible to submit proposals. Investigators from any U.S. research institution may participate through cooperative projects with investigators at MAFMA participating universities but the principal investigator must be from a participating university. A call for proposals will be sent to all food science, nutrition, and related departments within these universities to solicit proposals. Although there will be no limit on the number of proposals per university, only one proposal will be allowed per principal investigator 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, other organizations who are not affiliated with the university departments, faculty seeking the grant support, or with the corporations providing the matching funding. This peer-review process will insure that sound science is the foundation of MAFMA-funded projects. The Executive Secretary will select scientists to serve on the peer-review team. The proposal review process will be coordinated by a subcommittee of MAFMA Executive Board selected by the MAFMA Executive Secretary. Final selection of projects will be based upon 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 will fund multiple one-year research projects. This is the fourteenth year of MAFMA funding and continuation proposals will be allowed. The project awards will be limited to $50,000 per year in Alliance research funds. However, Alliance research funds must 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. but some industrial match will be required for each project. 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 45 days after the project termination. Extensions are permissible only with approval of the MAFMA Executive Secretary. Ultimately, the Alliance would prefer to make larger financial awards to a larger number of meritorious projects and to increase the length of the project period. However, thus far, insufficient funds are available to allow for that.