Maryland Conservation Innovation Grants

Funding Opportunity Title: Maryland Conservation Innovation Grants
Funding Opportunity Number: USDA-NRCS-MD-CIG-1701
Category of Funding Activity: Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources
Expected Number of Awards: 10
Awards: $150,000
Deadline: May 12, 2017
Description: Overview:The purpose of CIG is to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies, while leveraging the Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection in conjunction with agricultural production. CIG projects are expected to lead to the transfer of conservation technologies, management systems, and innovative approaches (such as market-based systems) into NRCS technical manuals and guidesor to the private sector. CIG is used to apply or demonstrate previously proven technology in order to increase adoption with an emphasis on opportunities to scale proven, emerging conservation strategies. CIG promotes sharing of skills, knowledge, technologies, and facilities among communities, governments, and other institutions to ensure that scientific and technological developments are accessible to a wider range of users. CIG funds projects targetinginnovative on-the-ground conservation, including pilot projects and field demonstrations. CIG does not fund research projects, with the exception of on-farm conservation research. On-farm conservation research is defined as an investigation conducted to answer a specified conservation-related question using a statistically valid design, while employing farm-scale equipment on farm fields. Specifically, a valid study design will use an appropriate number ofreplications and statistical analysis of results. To the extent NRCS funds research projects through CIG, the Agency will only fund research projects that stimulate innovative approaches to natural resource management in conjunction with agricultural production.NRCS will accept proposals under this notice for single or multiyear projects, not to exceed three years, submitted by eligible entities from Maryland. Eligible entities include Indian Tribes, State and local units of government, non-governmental organizations, and individuals.Proposals will be screened for completeness and compliance with the provisions of this notice. Incomplete and/or noncompliant proposals will be eliminated from competition, and notification of elimination will be sent to the applicant. Complete proposals received by applicable deadlines will be evaluated by a Technical Review Panel based on the Proposal Evaluation Criteriaidentified in the instructions in section V.B.The Technical Review Panel will make its recommendations for project approval to the NRCS State Conservationist who will make the final selections.

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