Open Call for Innovations: 'Securing Water for Food. A Grand Challenge for Development'

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (MFA-NL) and the government of South Africa have announced a fourth call for groundbreaking innovations under Securing Water for Food: A Grand Challenge for Development.

Launched in 2013, Securing Water for Food aims to increase access to innovations that help farmers produce more food with less water, enhance water storage, and improve the use of saline water and soils to produce food. Over the previous three rounds of Securing Water for Food, the programme has saved over 700 million liters of water, produced nearly 2,600 tons of food, and served more than 780,000 farmers and other customers in more than 25 low-resource countries.

Round 4 Call for Innovations Competition Officially Open

Applications accepted 15 August – 10 October 2016

Individual awards are expected to be between $100,000 USD and $2 million USD depending on the type of funding requested. The period of performance for individual awards is up to three years; the actual period of performance for each award will be determined at the time of award.

The funding parties are seeking applications that:

  • Promote user-centered design, not technology for the sake of technology.
  • Build sustainability into the fabric of the program. All innovations must be sustainable (financial, institutional, environmental, technological, and social).
  • Innovations supported by this program must demonstrate direct or strong indirect benefits for the poor and women.
  • Securing Water for Food welcomes and encourages high quality applications, especially from women-owned/women-led enterprises and developing country entrepreneurs.
  • Have a local presence and develop market-driven partnerships.

This funding competition sources and accelerates innovations that will enable the production of more food with less water or make more water available for food production, processing, and distribution. The three areas that are deemed critical to reducing water scarcity in the food value chain are listed as:

  • Improving water efficiency and reusing agricultural wastewater to significantly extend the productivity of limited water resources.
  • Effective water capture and storage systems for extending temporal availability of water supply in regions where precipitation is seasonal.
  • Management of salinity in water supplies, as it is a major threat to food production.

Applications will be accepted until 5:00 pm ET on 10 October 2016.

Download the call text from the Securing Water for Food website.

Webinar for Applicants

A live question-and-answer webinar will take place on 31 August  2016 from 12:00-1:30 pm EDT. For those who cannot attend, the responses will be  recorded and located here (https://ac.usaid.gov/rd4rfa/) and are shared on the Securing Water for Food website.

Source and full call details: Securing Water for Food