Delaney Applauds Federal Grant to Gaithersburg Business
WASHINGTON – The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced a $99,998 Small Business Innovation Research Program grant to Industry Vision Automation Corporation (IVA) of Gaithersburg for development of new strawberry processing technology. According to IVA, the project will deliver more efficient food processing systems that improve worker and food safety and enhance the quality of agricultural products.
“Supporting research and development is essential to improving our economic competitiveness and helping our nation’s small businesses grow,” said Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6). “Technology and research plays a major role in modern agriculture. NIFA’s grant announcement is another example of the federal government working to provide farmers, producers and processors with the tools and resources they need to keep up in today’s global economy. I believe that Maryland has the assets to become a national leader in research and development driven jobs and I applaud this support for a business in my district.”
Pursuant to the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982, Small Business Innovation Research programs exist within federal agencies with a large research and development (R&D) budget and are designed to increase participation of small innovative companies in federally funded R&D.
The grant awarded to IVA would support the development of equipment to sort and remove the calyx from strawberries. Strawberries are the second largest non-citrus fruit crop in the United States, trailing only grapes. The current in-field strawberry de-capping process used by American farmers uses cutting tools that can injure workers and lead to food cross-contamination.
NIFA is a division of the United States Department of Agriculture.