After a competitive review process, the Department of Homeland Security has renewed funding for the University of Minnesota’s National Center for Food Protection and Defense (NCFPD). The anticipated funding is approximately $20 million over six years. NCFPD, led by the University of Minnesota, is a multi-disciplinary, mission-focused research and education consortium addressing the real and potentially catastrophic threat of intentional contamination of the nation’s food supply.
Launched in 2004, NCFPD works as a nationwide, and international consortium of academic, private sector, and public sector partners. Its initiatives include developing countermeasures to close vulnerabilities within the food/agriculture system, devising practical methods to identify, contain, and recover from intentional contamination events, and implementing programs of study to develop future expertise in food defense. NCFPD serves as a neutral convener of government agencies and the private sector focused on the development of effective, end-user-supported approaches to reduce vulnerabilities and enhance supply chain resiliency. Research projects underway include novel technologies for the real time detection of toxins in foods, tools for identifying critical infrastructure, modeling systems for use in preparedness and training, and new approaches to communicate risk to the public before, during and after a food contamination event.
“This renewed funding is a clear reflection of the excellent work that our investigators and stakeholders have done in the past six years and appropriately raises expectations for even better tools and strategies to protect the food system moving forward, “said Shaun Kennedy, Director.
The renewed funding from DHS will begin as soon as details are finalized with DHS.
Food supply security, a critical infrastructure, is often second fiddler to smart grid, transportation and telecommunications. There are resources and info on food supply security at: http://www.ncfpd.umn.edu/