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About

Background

The University of Florida mission statement emphasizes the commitment to lead and serve Florida, the nation and the world by pursuing and disseminating new knowledge. The Food Systems Institute (FSI) further highlight UF’s leading role in finding and promoting evidence-based solutions to the greatest challenge of our time — providing safe and nutritious food for a teeming global population while enhancing livelihoods, societies, and the environment. The FSI is a merger of the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems (ISFS) and the faculty of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems (LSIL). The FSI has expertise in the improvement and management of commodities of terrestrial and aquatic food systems (crops, livestock, fish) that address food security, improved nutrition, and a sustainable environment in the US and globally. Researchers in these teams also have a proven track record in securing and executing large extramural grants in a compliant manner.

What will the Food Systems Institute do?

The Institute combines biophysical, economic and social expertise to explore the multiple outcomes of diverse food systems, and to promote improved systems that exploit synergies and reduce tradeoffs. Research is organized in four thematic areas and five cross-cutting areas.

Why another Institute?

  • There is no transdisciplinary center or institute at UF that focuses on addressing global food and nutrition security and the associated, health, economic, societal and environmental challenges, which can serve as a one-stop clearinghouse for organizations interested in conducting collaborative research studies. The Institute will fulfill this role.
  • To formalize and exploit the multidisciplinary and complementary expertise of faculty from across campus for developing sustainable and transformational solutions to global food systems challenges.
  • To confer eligibility to receive more and varied donor funding and to pursue gifts and endowments.

Food Systems Institute Faculty Team

The 82 faculty of the Food Systems Institute are affiliated with 12 departments across IFAS, Center for African Studies, Emerging Pathogens Institute, as well as Environmental and Global Health in the College of Public Health and Health Professions. We aim to develop new collaborations with faculty from other departments, centers and colleges across the university. Outside UF, we have worked with 99 universities of which 42 are in the US, 59 research institutes, as well as multiple government agencies and non-governmental organizations.

Vision

To develop transformative and sustainable, participatory research-based solutions that enhance nutrition, health, livelihoods, and the environment globally through improved food systems.

Mission

The Mission of the Food Systems Institute is to:

  • Conduct transdisciplinary research on critical food systems issues that is transformative and pushes beyond the frontiers of current knowledge.
  • Develop transdisciplinary curricula and training for stakeholders across food systems.
  • Multi-directional translation between scientists and stakeholders to promote the adoption of improved practices and technologies. 

To learn more, visit Introduction to the Food Systems Institute at the University of Florida on YouTube.