The program promotes the commercialization of improved agricultural technologies to help smallholder farmers. It also assists USAID missions to engage private sector partners to enhance the impact of their Feed the Future programming.
Technology Commercialization Grants Program
Through a competitive grants program, Partnering for Innovation invites private companies, research and development institutes, universities, scientists, and other entrepreneurs to submit applications to fund the commercial introduction of technologies that can help smallholder farmers to become more competitive and profitable. Technologies
These awards provide support for field-based proof of concepts that attract private-sector investment for initial commercial marketing or for establishing initial distribution. Scale-up grants support longer-term partnerships to increase the uptake of technologies that have already proven effective in new smallholder markets. The program seeks to commercialize technologies that are labor saving, boost productivity, and show promise for commercial sustainability.
Mission Partnership Development
Partnering for Innovation also works with bilateral USAID missions to identify areas of their program assistance that can benefit from engaging private sector partners. This is a competitive process to request applications from stakeholders that will address one or more agricultural or food security challenges or address gaps in a mission’s agricultural portfolio. The resulting performance-based agreement ensures that implementing partners are accountable for results and that USAID sees a return on its investment.
While central funds are available for designing and managing these partnerships, mission buy-in is required to fund the actual partnerships. Mission staff are involved throughout the process by participating on the design and evaluation phases and by appointing activity managers to help Partnering for Innovation staff to monitor implementation.
Partnering for Innovation manages the full process including:
Partnering for Innovation has also designed an interactive online community that helps create partnerships and share effective business models for technology transfer to smallholders. The AgTechXChange hosts training materials, educational videos, company profiles, sources of funding, and blogs and technical reports from experts.