Collision Incubator

Tuesday, April 30, 2020 | 2:00 PM–3:00 PM CT

SPARC Collision Incubator

Federal Agency Proposal Requests for COVID-19 Related Research

COVID-19 is an unprecedented global crisis and will require an unprecedented response. In response, many federal agencies have issued special requests for proposals for research or have modified existing ones to incorporate COVID-19 related work. University of Minnesota researchers are well-positioned to successfully respond to these calls. The University COVID Action Network (U-CAN) under the Strategic Partnerships and Research Collaborative (SPARC) hosted a Zoom Collision Incubator Event on Thursday, April 30 from 2-3:00 pm to highlight three opportunities:

  • NSF Civic Innovation Challenge (CIVIC). CIVIC is a unique research and action competition in the Smart and Connected Communities (S&CC) domain for teams of academic researchers and community partners working to improve their communities. CIVIC is organized as a two-stage competition with two tracks. Research on COVID-19 is welcomed in Track B. Resilience to Natural Disasters: Equipping Communities for Greater Preparedness and Resilience to Natural Disasters.
  • DARPA Biological Technologies Office Broad Agency Announcement (BAA). The DARPA Biological Technologies Office seeks to foster breakthrough research and development that integrates biology, engineering, computer science, mathematics, and the physical sciences. It has requested COVID-19 related submissions for its ongoing BAA.
  • USDA Rapid Response to Novel Coronavirus (Sars-cov-2) Impacts Across Food and Agricultural Systems. The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced this new priority area to its Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Foundational and Applied Science Program. Focus areas for this include (but are not limited to)
    • Health and Security of Livestock
    • Food and Food Processing
    • Well-being of Farm, Food Service Providers, and Rural Americans
    • Economic Security

At this Collision Incubator, we reviewed the requirements of these opportunities and strategies for crafting successful proposals. Attendees had the opportunity to brainstorm ideas and seek potential partners for interdisciplinary teams.

SPARC supports UMN researchers to fund and manage large-scale, multidisciplinary, team-based work. Recently established under SPARC, the U-CAN is a grassroots coalition of volunteer faculty, staff, and students focused on helping the front-line heroes from the University, governments, and nonprofits respond and recover from the COVID-19 Pandemic.

If you were unable to attend the meeting, please feel free to view the presentation recording or download the slides.

Presentation Recording

Future Events

The Strategic Partnerships and Research Collaborative plans to host several Collision events like this over the next few weeks with targeted areas of focus.

Please sign up for our newsletter to receive information on future events.

Interested in learning more about COVID-19 funding and volunteer opportunities?

Join the University COVID Action Network for more information.

Contact SPARC at if you have any questions.