The purpose of the SCRI program is to address the critical needs of the specialty crop industry by awarding grants to support research and extension that address key challenges of national, regional, and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of food and agriculture, including conventional
and organic food production systems.
Projects must address at least one of five focus areas:
Research in plant breeding, genetics, genomics, and other methods to improve crop characteristics; Efforts to identify and address threats from pests and diseases, including threats to specialty crop pollinators; Efforts to improve production efficiency, handling and processing, productivity, and profitability over the long term (including specialty crop policy and marketing); new innovations and technology, including improved mechanization and technologies that delay or inhibit ripening; and methods to prevent, detect, monitor, control, and respond to potential food safety hazards in the production efficiency, handling and processing of specialty crops.
Visit the NIFA website to access a factsheet on the Center of Excellence (COE) designation process, including COE criteria, and a list of programs offering COE opportunities in fiscal year 201 6. You can also review a recording of COE outreach webinars held in February and March of 2015 from the site.
The COE webpages will be updated throughout FY 2016 with additional information, such as a summary of comments received from stakeholders.