NCSA Participating in $25M Programmable Plant Systems Initiative

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Researchers from the Center for Digital Agriculture (CDA) at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) will be part of the newly-announced Center for Research on Programmable Plant Systems (CROPPS). The new Center will work to leverage digital solutions and techniques for understanding how plants interact and communicate.

Initially funded for five years, the center is a collaborative effort featuring researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Cornell University, the Boyce Thompson Institute and the University of Arizona. CROPPS will be funded by a $25-million tech grant investment from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and will seek to leverage both existing collaborations between these institutions and Illinois’ expertise at the confluence of agriculture and computational research, including at NCSA.

Once established, the center will be able to build on existing collaboration and proof-of-concept digital agriculture research by scaling it up to larger research projects. This could include anything from research and use of autonomous technologies to newly employed sensors on leaves or in soil, or even gene-editing nanoparticles.

CROPPS will bridge a crucial gap between digital transformation and practical research, and will help expand the utility of technology as a tool for optimizing agriculture, from crop yield to nutrient intake and beyond.

More information can be found here.