(199a) Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS): A National Science Foundation (NSF) Initiative to Examine Critical Issues in Today's World

Authors: 
Lighty, J. S., University of Utah
At the end of 2015, the National Science Foundation (NSF) put out its first request for proposals for the INFEWS program (Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems). Over the next five years the program plans to fund interdisciplinary projects that fall into four tracks 1. System Modeling, 2. Visualization and Decision Support, 3. Innovative System Solutions, and 4. Education and Workforce Development. The program expects to tackle Food-Energy-Water System (FEWS) research through integration across disciplines, in which agricultural and food systems research is a primary component. To this end NSF has partnered with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to fund related research. This program developed from the Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability (SEES) program, which in 2015 funded 17 FEWS workshops. These interdisciplinary workshops brought together researchers and other stakeholders from universities, local, state, and federal governments, industry, and non-profits to examine a wide range of FEW questions and identify the research, data and technological needs to solve them. This presentation will cover an overview of the development of the INFEWS program, some pressing FEW needs as identified by the broader research community, and national and international opportunities for future engagement with the program.