The National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes program has announced the formation of a new institute to accelerate AI research and agricultural innovation.
The program, a joint effort between the National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, was created in response to the White House’s 2019 update to the National Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Strategic Plan, which aims to provide support for AI research that focuses on impacting and improving society.
Established with a $20 million, five-year grant, the new Artificial Intelligence for Future Agricultural Resilience, Management, and Sustainability (AIFARMS) Institute includes the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). It will be headquartered at UIUC’s Center for Digital Agriculture. It is one of only two joint NSF-NIFA AI institutes in the country.
At AIFARMS, scientists, PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, extension specialists, and diverse industry partners will come together to address major agricultural challenges such as labor constraints, animal health and welfare, environmental crop resilience, and soil health.
Supratik Guha, professor at Pritzker Molecular Engineering and senior advisor at Argonne National Laboratory, leads the UChicago effort. His research focuses on soil- and water-monitoring sensor networks.