Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

WARF Accelerator & Bayer Challenge: Plant Sciences

WARF Accelerator Logo

From its founding, UW-Madison research has played a critical role in nutrition and agriculture. Today’s new challenges call for novel solutions to create resilient and secure food systems by combining advanced genomics, climate modeling, sensors and computer networks to monitor and improve the growth of crops.

WARF and Bayer Crop Science have teamed together to launch a WARF Accelerator Challenge Grant to identify and support technologies on campus that impact this important area of research.

The application deadline was May 15.

Grant Details

    • WARF Accelerator will award 2-5 grants from a pool of approximately $100,000, co-funded by WARF and Bayer.
    • Proposed research should be completed within a year.
    • Project team must include a Principal Investigator (PI) at UW-Madison or the Morgridge Institute for Research.
    • A team of WARF staff and Bayer staff will evaluate and select proposals jointly.
    • Bayer receives no rights to any IP.
    • Bayer will make available a Bayer mentor for funded projects.

Plant Sciences Projects

We are seeking projects that focus on new ways of improving systems for crop production. Ideas could address resource management, crop data analytics, climate challenges, platforms for identifying pests or disease, maximizing crop productivity or crop genetics, all driving toward the goal of sustainably feeding the population.

Example projects may include:

  • Climate resiliency in crops
  • Machine learning and AI tools for any aspect of crop management
  • Remote sensing technology for agriculture
  • Advanced precision agriculture technologies
  • Resistance to abiotic or biotic stresses
  • Alternative cropping systems for enhanced sustainability

Even if your idea is outside of these examples or is very early stage, please consider submitting an application. We are interested in hearing your idea!

Assessment Criteria

  • Scientific merit
  • Novelty of the concept (something not previously disclosed to WARF)
  • Technical readiness
  • Commercial potential
  • Quality of the application

To Apply:

  • Individuals and teams should complete these questions and submit them as an attachment to your innovation disclosure. Please include “Plant Sciences Challenge” in the non-confidential description of your innovation.
  • Deadline for application is May 15, 2024. Awards will be determined by June 15, 2024.


Contact Emily Bauer, [email protected], 608-960-9842

Note: As this is an internal competition, applications are not routed through RSP and should not be submitted via RAMP.