By James Devitt
Olivia Wilkins, a post-doctoral Fellow in NYU’s Center for Genomics and Systems Biology (CGSB), has been named a winner of the Basic Research to Enable Agricultural Development (BREAD) Ideas Challenge.
The challenge, co-funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, asked participants from around the world to describe, in 100 words or fewer, the most pressing, novel issues facing small-holder farms—farms typically the size of a football field or smaller—in developing countries.
“These prize-winning challenges range from the global to the local and across diverse disciplines,” says John Wingfield, NSF’s assistant director for biological sciences. “What they have in common is that they all represent topics that have not yet had the attention or funding to prompt a solution. The reality is that solving any of these challenges in a changing world would have a dramatic impact on the lives of millions of small-holder farmers around the globe.”
Wilkins’ proposal, which earned her a $10,000 cash prize, was one of 13 selected. These ideas will now be used as targets for the second part of the competition, in which researchers will offer proposals to address the challenges posed by the first-round winners.