September 7, 2022 By Fruit & Vegetable
The Homegrown Innovation Challenge, funded and delivered by the Weston Family Foundation, is moving into its second phase, called the Shepherd Phase.
The challenge launched in February with the Spark phase. In August, fifteen teams were each granted $50,000 of seed funding to support the development of their concept, build their team and finesse their application for the next phase.
“The judging panel is thrilled with the creativity and ingenuity of our Spark awardees,” said Emma Adamo, chair, Weston Family Foundation. “Some early solutions include an underground berry farm, a year-round greenhouse with 3D berry production, and a multi-tiered sustainable system that will optimize crop health and production density for small-scale farmers in Northern climates.”
The challenge is actively soliciting more individuals and teams to sign on as of Oct. 1, with an application deadline of Dec. 20. In the Shepherd phase, ten teams will be awarded $1 million each to develop proof-of-concept over an 18-month period, leading to more funding in the Scaling phase, commencing January 2025.
“We value all kinds of collaboration and our applicants do not require previous experience in agriculture,” Adamo said. “But after the Dec. 20 deadline, the door closes to new applicants.”
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