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Research and development

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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

CAIA-related opportunities

CCI, in partnership with US Ignite, is hosting the Virginia Cybersecurity Challenge to accelerate the Commonwealth’s development of talent and products that enhance cybersecurity. Virginia has emerged as a national leader in cybersecurity, boasting the second-highest concentration of technology workers in the nation. The Commonwealth considers it vital that Virginia researchers and students take advantage of opportunities to explore cybersecurity via programs such as this Challenge.

Please submit proposals by Sept. 3, 2021 to

Updates to the funding opportunities will be posted on the Minerva website as needed. Applications will be accepted through September 29, 2021. More information is available in the funding opportunity announcement

The Minerva Research Initiative, the signature social science research program within the Department of Defense (DOD), has announced research opportunities for fiscal year (FY) 2021 and listed several target research topics for the program. Minerva aims to apply social science research to critical national security questions and inform broader DOD decision-making based on this research. The following nine topics have been listed as key areas of interest for research to address:

  • Social Implications of Environmental Change
  • Resource Competition, Social Cohesion, and Strategic Climate Resilience
  • Security Risks in Ungoverned, Semi-Governed, and Differently-Governed Spaces
  • Analysis of Foreign Influence Operations in Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • Community Studies on Online and Offline Influence
  • Computational Social Science Research on Difficult-to-Access Environments
  • Social and Cultural Implications of Artificial Intelligence
  • Humans and Outer Space
  • Management and Information in the Defense Environment

EHR Core Research (ECR:Core) (nsf21588) | NSF - National Science Foundation

Full proposal deadline: October 7, 2021

The EHR Core Research (ECR) program offers this ECR:Core solicitation and invites proposals for fundamental research (curiosity-driven basic research and use-inspired basic research) that contributes to the general, explanatory knowledge that underlies STEM education in one or more of the three broadly conceived Research Areas: Research on STEM Learning and Learning Environments, Research on Broadening Participation in STEM fields, and Research on STEM Workforce Development. Within this framework, the ECR program supports a wide range of fundamental STEM education research activities, aimed at learners of all groups and ages in formal and informal settings.


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.