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GRANTS & FUNDING
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NORTHEAESTERN REGIONAL AQUACULTURE CENTER
   CONNECTICUT   DELAWARE   MAINE   MARYLAND   MASSACHUSETTS   NEW HAMPSHIRE   NEW JERSEY   NEW YORK   PENNSYLVANIA   RHODE ISLAND   VERMONT   WASHINGTON D.C.    WEST VIRGINIA

CURRENT FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

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NRAC REQUEST FOR PRE-PROPOSALS (RFP) FOR FY2025

 

REQUEST FOR PRE-PROPOSALS - now open for application

Pre-Proposals are due by 5:00 pm PDT, Friday, April 12, 2024

 

Based on extensive input from aquaculture industry, extension, and research representatives throughout the region, WRAC is seeking Pre-Proposals for nine research areas, which are listed in the RFP.

 

WRAC’s planning process for new research & outreach projects covers an 18-month period, which includes:

  • identification and prioritization of research areas

  • solicitation and review of pre-proposals

  • selection of proposals for development and implementation

 

For details about the RFP process, review the attached documents "Timeline 2023-2025". The final selection of projects includes anonymous external review by at least three peers from outside the Northeast Region (when possible).

 

Funding for approved projects begins September 1, 2025 (contingent upon timely receipt of funds from USDA-NIFA) and continues for up to four years.

 

Carefully review the NRAC Regional Research and Outreach Project Pre-Proposals FY2025 documents.

NRAC PRIORITY  STATEMENTS
2022-2023 

1

PRIORITY STATEMENT: TRA-23-1

Goal:

Develop and/or improve aquaculture marketing and sales strategies that facilitate growth of the aquaculture industry by addressing issues of oversupply and market disruption as well as expanded sales to broader geographic areas.

2

PRIORITY STATEMENT: TRA-23-2

Goal:

Research and demonstrate opportunities and methods that can lead to greater commercial profitability, viability and/or sustainability.

3

PRIORITY STATEMENT: TRA-23-3

Goal:

Create innovative strategies to address social barriers to development and create sustainable expansion of the aquaculture industry in the Northeast region.

Priority Statement 1

1

PRIORITY STATEMENT: TRA-23-1

Goal:

Develop and/or improve aquaculture marketing and sales strategies that facilitate growth of the aquaculture industry by addressing issues of oversupply and market disruption as well as expanded sales to broader geographic areas.

Statement of the Problem:

Widespread disruption of aquaculture product distribution caused by the COVID pandemic poses unique opportunities for our industry to identify and exploit marketing strategies.  These may aim at correcting for market disruptions, assisting growth in traditional markets and establishing aquaculture products in non-traditional markets.  Non-COVID issues include expanding the range and products provided to sales outlets domestically and internationally.  NRAC seeks proposals that address:

 

  • Unique strategies to expand distribution of aquaculture products including e-commerce, direct retail, CSAs and regional cooperatives.

  • Approaches for industry resilience in the face of local market saturation and/or large-scale market or distribution disruptions (e.g., pandemic, storms).

  • Developing organic certification standards and assessing the path towards implementation within the region.

  • Developing value-added products from aquaculture and aquaculture waste materials or post-harvest processing.

  • Blue carbon/nitrogen credits and the development of one or more regional ecosystem services markets.

  • Review of aquaculture industry vulnerabilities exposed by the pandemic and identifying strategies for mitigation.

  • Mechanisms supporting effective crop insurance programs directly relevant to aquaculture.

 

NRAC funds multistate, outcome-based research.  Project deliverables should be clearly specified.  Collaboration with industry and/or extension is required.  These individuals must be identified, and their participation explicitly detailed in the proposal.  Communicating and disseminating effective science-based information about aquaculture and evaluating impacts are central to the NRAC mission.  Dissemination plans should be clearly outlined in every proposal.

2

PRIORITY STATEMENT: TRA-23-2

Priority Statement 2

Goal:

Research and demonstrate opportunities and methods that can lead to greater commercial profitability, viability and/or sustainability.

Statement of the Problem:

Northeast regional aquaculture includes a diversity of species, systems, and industries.  NRAC funds projects that focus on all aspects of aquaculture and emphasize outcomes leading to development and sustainable growth of the industry.  NRAC seeks proposal that improve viability of the industry by:
:

 

  • Lowering input costs (e.g., labor, energy, capital equipment, feeds, and space) for production of aquatic organisms.

  • Working with commercial industry to develop restorative aquaculture products (e.g., shellfish remediation projects, creating the potential for bioremediation, ecological services, and/or ecological restoration using aquaculture products and/or methods, including follow-up study of the effectiveness of this work through genetic tracking, shell marking, etc.). 

  • Demonstrating effectiveness of breeding and/or strain selection to improve production efficiency and/or product quality on the farm.

  • Improving feeds to lower rearing costs, reduce fish-meal protein inputs, improve health, promote growth, and increase survival.

  • Eliminating knowledge gaps related to closing the life cycle of species with existing or potential aquaculture value.

  • Expanding the knowledge base of infectious and non-infectious diseases to improve health management and production on the farm.

  • Modifying farming and production strategies in response to environmental change, large-scale disruptions, and to expand the industry.

  • Reducing the environmental footprint of aquaculture, for example through recycling/reuse of aquaculture gear, or by developing alternatives to the use of plastic materials such as Styrofoam and examining more sustainable materials for use in gear and/or product packaging 

  • Addressing issues related to food safety, record keeping, and traceability deriving from the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). 

  • Research to optimize recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) of multiple scales. Work could include improvement of production systems, optimization of production techniques, and research that leads to greater expansion of RAS commercial farming.

  • Addressing the impact of interactions of wildlife with aquaculture farms, including risks to food safety, disease transmission, predation by protected species, and gear losses.

 

NRAC funds multistate, outcome-based research.  Project deliverables should be clearly specified.  Collaboration with industry and/or extension is required.  These individuals must be identified, and their participation explicitly detailed in the proposal.  Communicating and disseminating effective science-based information about aquaculture is central to the NRAC mission.  Dissemination plans should be clearly outlined in every proposal.

3

PRIORITY STATEMENT: TRA-23-3

Priority Statement 3

Goal:

Create innovative strategies to address social barriers to development and create sustainable expansion of the aquaculture industry in the Northeast region..

Statement of the Problem:

Social, political, and economic issues including public perception, user conflict and regulatory and legal issues limit expansion of aquaculture.  NRAC seeks to fund development, implementation, and adoption of innovative approaches that foster regional industry growth and success.  Proposals could focus on:
 

 

  • Addressing social barriers that inhibit sustainable expansion of the industry, such as public perception or user conflicts, including demonstration of technologies that improve public and management understanding of on-farm production.

  • Commercial or non-commercial projects that include the participation of, or are led by, fishers, fishing associations, conservation groups, and other non-traditional aquaculture stakeholders, and that promote greater awareness and acceptance of aquaculture or are designed to address stakeholder concerns.

  • Best Management Practices for siting and operating farms. 

  • Tackling social carrying capacity of the industry including addressing sociological conflicts between aquaculture and other user groups such as marinas, energy platforms, and protected species and habitats through inclusion of diverse stakeholders.

  • Understanding successful litigation strategies in permitting aquaculture, including reviewing case law at the federal and state level (e.g., Right-to-Farm laws, pre-permitting regulatory consultations)

  • Developing approaches that simplify permit approval and renewal, decrease regulatory burdens and promote regulatory harmonization across states in the region while preserving accurate and fair stakeholder input and biological and social sustainability.

  • Evaluating and quantifying ecological, economic, social and cultural benefits of aquaculture, and how these may inform regulations, blue carbon credits, mitigate food deserts, or other novel opportunities.

 

NRAC funds multistate, outcome-based research.  Project deliverables should be clearly specified.  Collaboration with industry and/or extension is required.  These individuals must be identified, and their participation explicitly detailed in the proposal.  Communicating and disseminating effective science-based information about aquaculture is central to the NRAC mission.  Dissemination plans should be clearly outlined in every proposal.

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The Northeast region stands as the undisputed global leader in aquaculture innovation, driving industry growth to bolster economic vitality, all while steadfastly preserving aquatic ecosystems and championing conservation efforts for generations to come.




 

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