Global Center for Food Systems Innovation

Global Center for Food Systems Innovation

The Global Center for Food Systems Innovation (GCFSI) seeks to create, test and enable the scaling of innovations in the food system, using a multi-disciplinary approach that is focused on the entire food system and is forward-looking—considering major environmental, economic, and social trends and workforce development needs that will impact future food system performance.

Human and Institutional Capacity Development
GCFSI has partnered with the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources to establish a vibrant Innovation Hub in Malawi, which will help support food system innovation and bolster food security, as well as develop the current and next generation of scientists and entrepreneurs in Malawi and the region. In addition, GCFSI communications experts are working with students and faculty at LUANAR to provide them with skills in written and multimedia story-telling.

Food Systems Innovation
GCFSI is developing and testing innovative solutions to food systems problems, ranging from production to post-harvest processing to wholesale and retail marketing. This effort is based on applied research by a diverse mix of agricultural scientists, economists, engineers, geographers, supply chain experts, urban planners and others. Innovative ideas are supported directly by major faculty and student innovation grants, and by GCFSI’s core faculty-led projects.

Gender Mainstreaming
Gender integration is core to GCFSI's programming. Our aim is to improve the effectiveness of GCFSI's research and innovation activities through gender-responsive design, implementation, and impact assessments. Our ultimate goal is to ensure gender-equitable benefits from GCFSI’s efforts to improve agricultural productivity, reduce poverty, build resilience to climate change, improve food security and nutritional status, and enhance workforce development systems

At a Glance

Members 6
Partners 2

Organization Type

  • Scientific/ Research and Development


Global Center for Food Systems Innovation
Michigan State University
308 Manly Miles Building
1405 S. Harrison Road
East Lansing MI 48823-5243
Tel: 517-884-8500


T : 517-884-8500
E :

Organization Mission

The GCFSI Mission is to create, test, and enable scaling of effective solutions and evidence-based approaches to a defined set of future critical global trends impacting food systems.

Area of Focus

Innovation Grants
Early Stage Innovation
The early stage innovation grants are meant to fund innovators with ideas that align with the goal of GCFSI, which is to create, test and enable the scaling of innovations in the food system. This grant is designed to enable the development of early stage innovations and includes activities such as prototyping, idea development, small-scale testing and refinement.

  • Grasshopper/Locust farming
  • Low-Carbon footprint cool storage structures
  • Zero waste cassava processing system
  • Honeybee impacts on the food system

Bringing FarmVille to the tropicsMade possible through its partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development, GCFSI awards a number of innovation grants for students and researchers around the world, designed to enable the development, refinement, or scaling up of food system innovations, with the ultimate goal of helping to support global food security efforts.

Technology Evaluation
The technology evaluation grants represent stage two in the GCFSI-supported innovation pipeline, and are targeted at innovations that are developed but have not been fully deployed or rigorously tested in the field. Activities could include field trials, stakeholder focus groups, refinement of the innovation design, and market assessments.

  • Philippine coconut value chain
  • Slurry separation tech & refrigeration units
  • Climate services and soil diagnostics
  • Human-powered bean thresher
  • Cassava simulation model

Student Innovation
GCFSI awarded grants to student researchers and class groups, including senior-level capstone design classes, for up to 12-month projects, to test, pilot or scale innovations related to food systems.

  • Veggie dryer
  • Clay pot vegetable production
  • Safety of Traditional Fermented Milk
  • Avocado oil press
  • Mountain rope system for food transport
  • Use SMS to document maize trader participation in government reporting protocols
  • Peer comparison reports as adoption tool
  • Reduced tillage planter and plow (ripper)
  • Alternative protein sources for fish feed

Areas of Expertise

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Funding Opportunities