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Research and development

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caia faculty fellow for Research and development

My goal is to foster an atmosphere and help to develop an infrastructure that will inspire and facilitate the efforts to bring scientific and technological breakthroughs to practice.

Intellectual Property - What is it?

Intellectual Property-Value in Your Academic Career. A CALS Faculty Development Seminar 

Description: Ideas and ingenuity are key to 
successful research. Protecting those ideas and translating them into 
‘Property’ that has legal protection and ownership is a valuable contribution 
within your academic role. In this session, you will more about how IP fits 
into your promotion dossier, the support for getting the IP protection and 
resources for creating the preliminary data, and hear from faculty who have 
been successful in patent and start-up companies.

CALS/VAES with the Virginia Tech LiCENSE [part of LINK LICENSE LAUNCH] webinar recording:  Sept. 9, 2020

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CAIA will serve as a catalyst for innovation and security for agriculture and life sciences technologies, focusing in the development and growth phases of discovery and applications, and will facilitate transition of research platforms into University Centers.


Position CALS and Virginia Tech for competitive global research advantage in agricultural innovations, growth and applications including:

  • Informed decisions through agricultural technologies
  • Cyberbiosecurity and biosecurity
  • Precision agriculture
  • Human capacity and infrastructure technologies for agriculture
  • Rural broadband capacity

Serve as an incubator for designing and evaluating technologies to assist with the viability and security of agriculture in the Commonwealth and beyond.

Targeted impacts

  • Create the framework for the Virginia Agricultural Technology Corridor within the heart of Virginia’s cyber-region
  • Evaluating environmental impact
  • Advancing genome design
  • Designing and evaluating technologies
  • Creating efficiencies and improving safety in human capacity
  • Improving traceability


Funding Opportunities & PROGRAMS


Purpose: The Center for Advanced Innovation in Agriculture invites proposals for the 2022 CAIA Impactful Activities program. The long-term goal of this program is to advance the CAIA mission through programmatic efforts bolstering the impact of research activities. CAIA seeks to leverage science and technology to create transformative solutions to support agriculture and food systems, the environment, and communities in the Commonwealth and beyond. Priority will be given to proposals developing programmatic activities designed to enhance the impact of CAIA research. Stakeholder involvement is an important aspect of this grant program.

Funding Categories: The Impactful Activities program will provide funding at the ‘seed-packet’ grant level of $10,000 and the ‘seed by the pound’ grant level of $30,000.

  • ‘Seed-Packet’ Grant Level: These target the initial steps in building capacity with a goal of establishing tangible outcomes and outputs serving as evidence for future external grant opportunities. Stakeholder involvement includes contribution to concept development. 
  • ‘Seed by the Pound’ Grant Level: This is a ‘multiplier’ grant targeting the transition of a concept into beta testing and/or translation to practice. Stakeholder involvement includes engagement in testing and evaluation, yielding evidence for large-scale integrated grants.


click here to read the full RFA


The designation of CCI Fellow will recognize the important leadership role of coordinating large-scale proposals in CCI. Funding can be used for faculty time, proposal preparation, and team building activities. 

This is a rolling call, with proposals accepted any time in 2022. Please visit the CCI website for more details.

This fellowship is a scientific research opportunity that will assist FSIS in its goal of building strong relationships with academia. The agency is committed to data-driven and science-based approaches to all aspects of our public health mission. This opportunity will provide a student with an understanding of the type of research that supports FSIS decision making to ensure the safety of the food supply.

The application period closes on August 30, 2022

View more information HERE

Goal: Develop cyber security hands-on exercises to help undergraduate/graduates prepare to compete in cyber defense contests.

Who's eligible: Any team of undergraduate or graduate students from any 2Y or 4Y college that is a member of one of the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI) nodes.

Deadline for proposal submission: September 30, 2022

View more information HERE

DSFAS focuses on data science to enable systems and communities to effectively utilize data, improve resource management, and integrate new technologies and approaches to further U.S. food and agriculture enterprises. This program area priority will support projects that examine the value of data for small and large farmers, as well as the agricultural and food industries, and gain an understanding of how data can impact the agricultural and food supply chain, reduce food waste and loss, improve consumer health, environmental and natural resource management, affect the structure of U.S. food and agriculture sectors, and increase U.S. competitiveness.

AFRI Foundational and Applied Science RFA within Crosscutting Programs

Objective: This program will provide a platform for recruiting and supporting exceptional postdoctoral fellows at Virginia Tech. The fellowships will be awarded in two tracks: Research Frontiers and Cybersecurity.

Stipend amount: Fellows will receive a competitive stipend and $10,000 professional development budget over their two-year fellowship. Costs will be shared between the university and the mentor. 

View more information HERE

Original research articles in the areas of AI driven ergonomics for agricultural operations and management are welcome in this Special Issue. More details are available in the following links.

CAIA affiliate faculty member, Abhilash Chandel [Tidewater AREC; BSE] is the guest editor for this special issue and welcomes your inquiries.

Submission deadline is September 30, 2022 with anticipated acceptance deadline of December 31, 2022.

Robotics and AI hold a significant potential to solve the ergonomic challenges in agricultural operations specifically; navigation, localization, and targeting to address the spatiotemporal requirements of crops and animal management. Application of high throughput sensing, Internet of Things (IoT), big data, cloud computing, and machine vision have enhanced the perception of production agriculture for intelligent and remote diagnosis and control. However, such technologies are currently in their nascent stage and their adoption can address labor shortage and to ensure timeliness and precise field operations. Therefore, integration of AI and Ergonomics to design user-friendly farm management technologies will not only reduce the human interventions but will also reduce the drudgery and occupation risks involved with agricultural operations. Additionally, such technologies can also formulate efficient management of resources for a sustainable agricultural production without compromising the environment.


We aim to create an agile and responsive interdisciplinary network of College of Agriculture and Life Sciences faculty and other Virginia Tech and affiliated faculty partners for facilitating innovative technology advancements and security in order to:

  • Address current and future practical challenges for agricultural producers, agribusinesses and communities throughout the food system
  • Create effective and trusted partnerships across the campus to levearge the broader Virginia Tech capacity for innovation in agriculture.