Illumina is dedicated to making tangible contributions to the agricultural community, with the goal of reducing hunger, malnutrition, and poverty. We are committed to enabling groundbreaking research that will result in increased sustainability, productivity, and nutritional density of agricultural species.
Through the Illumina Agricultural Greater Good Initiative, we are collaborating with the agricultural community to support research into enabling a more sustainable, nutritious food supply. The grant program is designed to help identify measures that can increase crop yields and improve livestock welfare and productivity to alleviate poverty and hunger in the developing world.
Applications for the 2023 Illumina Agricultural Greater Good Initiative are currently being accepted. The deadline for all 2023 applications is September 30, 2022.
The Grand Prize winner will receive up to $350,000 of in-kind consumables and/or services at list price value on up to 1000 samples of your choice (check Terms and Conditions). The winner will be announced during the International Plant and Animal Genome Conference in January 2023.
This initiative recognizes researchers in the agricultural community using Illumina technology to help alleviate global hunger, malnutrition, and poverty.Watch Video
The grant program is open to basic researchers in Agrigenomics at academic, for profit, or nonprofit institutions. Priority will be given to research that increases sustainability, productivity, and nutritional density of the world’s food supply.
In 400 words or less, provide an overview, a statement of work, and a description of the impact of your research. You may also include up to three figures, with legends, and a list of citations (with 200 word count limit).
In these sections, applicants should include:
To be considered, all entries must:
A team of Illumina scientists and executives will judge all submissions. Each submission will be judged based on our view of how well the entry reflects scientific merit, innovation, and fit with the values of the Illumina Agricultural Greater Good Initiative.
International Institute of Tropical Agriculture
Molecular geneticist Dr. Ranjana Bhattacharjee, of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, will work in generating DNA sequencing data on yam diversity to accelerate breeding programs in West Africa for the benefit of food security in low-income communities.Read Article
University of Goettingen, Institute of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Bertram Brenig and his collaborators will use genomics to help understand vulnerabilities impacting the Western Honey Bee, one of the most populous pollinators facing multiple challenges and population decline.Read Article
The International Mungbean Improvement Network led by the World Vegetable Center
This network is serving ~10 million smallholder farmers by improving crop yield and overcoming challenges from diseases and pests. Mungbean is a short-duration legume crop that can be grown in cultivation windows between major crops such as wheat, rice, sorghum, and sugarcane. It delivers an additional protein-rich food source in the region and additional income for farmers.Read Article
University Bari, Italy and International Camel Consortium for Genetic Improvement and Conservation (ICC-GIC)
The mission of the ICC-GIC is to help scientists and professionals collaborate while promoting food security and the sustainable development of the camel sector.Read Article
National University of Rosario's Aquatic Biotechnology Laboratory, Santa Fe, Argentina
Dr. Villanova and her team will use sequencing to develop a high-quality de novo genome assembly and a high-density SNP-based linkage map for pacú, a commercially important South American freshwater fish.Read Article
North Carolina State University, Department of Horticulture
G. Craig Yencho and Bode Olukolu are working to develop a whole-genome assembly and a SNP array for the nutritious sweet potato.Read Article
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center aims to optimize breeding strategies for improving the yield and stress tolerance of grain sorghum, a critical source of nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa.View Press Release
University of California Davis, African Orphan Crops Consortium
The African Orphan Crops Consortium is using genomics to advance the breeding process for orphan crop plant species, with a mission to curb malnutrition in African children.
In 2017, Illumina donated a HiSeq 4000 System to the African Orphan Crops Consortium to help the organization complete its crop sequencing project. Members of the consortium hope that their work will help to improve the food supply and nourish families in need.
University of California at Riverside
Timothy J. Close, PhD is studying the cowpea to maximize drought resistance of this important food source in West Africa.Read Interview
Iowa State University, Global Food Security Consortium
Illumina sheep and goat BeadChips help Iowa State University researchers identify selection signatures associated with heat and drought tolerance.Read Interview
Rajeev Varshney, PhD and other ICRISAT researchers are using Illumina sequencing to develop disease-resistant pigeonpea varieties.Read Interview
Biosciences eastern and central Africa – International Livestock Research Institute Hub (BecA-ILRI Hub)
Illumina sequencing is enabling BecA-ILRI Hub researchers to better understand two viruses responsible for infecting cassava crops throughout Africa.Read Interview
The USDA is employing Illumina sequencing to uncover the genetic differences between the world's goat breeds, identifying mutations that enable goats to thrive in harsh environments.Read Interview
Head of Genome Analysis Centre, Monsanto
By sequencing the baobab tree, Monsanto is providing scientists with the genomic resources to protect and sustain the baobab, while informing our understanding of tree evolution.Read Interview