North Dakota’s Department of Commerce is soliciting ideas for its Autonomous Agriculture Matching Grants. The department will award 1:1 matching funds for innovation facilities (constructed, purchased or rented), project management for complex North Dakota-based and global autonomous ag concepts, and initiatives to increase the skills of the autonomous ag workforce with qualified professionals to ensure advanced farming techniques.
“North Dakota’s innovative approach in autonomous agriculture will advance and accelerate cutting edge research and commercialization of new farming concepts,“ says Commerce Department Head of Investments and Innovation Shayden Akason. “This current grant provides up to $10 million to achieve the advancement of autonomous farming concepts in accordance with the state’s needs to position North Dakota as a global leader in autonomous agriculture.”
Proposals for the grant are due by 5 p.m. CT on Jan. 10 and must include the concept, proposed sources for matching revenue and a timeline for deployment. All funding must be spent by June 30, 2023. Proposals will be evaluated by the following criteria:
1. Automation in agriculture – How well does the proposal for agricultural automation help streamline the crop production cycle, making farming more efficient? How well does this proposal demonstrate automation?
2. Precision agriculture – How well does the proposal demonstrate observation, yield, and measurement for the production cycle?
3. Advancements in implements and tools – How well does the proposal advance the commercialization of automated farm implements through demonstration, tools and supporting infrastructure, e.g., the ability to automate end-to-end activities in production as well as product to market.
4. Aerial integration – How well does this proposal tie into other statewide efforts such as the use of unmanned aerial systems to enhance agricultural activity?