Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) offer matching-funds to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative approaches and technologies for conservation on agricultural lands.
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CIG accelerates technology development and transfer, and the adoption of promising technologies and approaches to address some of the nation’s most pressing natural resource concerns; projects often result in production and operational benefits as well. NRCS identifies successful projects for potential integration of technologies and approaches into NRCS’ toolkit of conservation practices.
AK CIG Fact Sheet (345.61 KB)
AK CIG FAQ Fact Sheet (2.97 MB)
CIG applications are accepted from state or local governments, federally recognized American Indian tribes, non-governmental organizations and individuals in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands areas.
Conservation approaches or technologies must be sufficiently studied to indicate a likelihood of success to be considered likely candidates for technology transfer. CIG funds innovative on-the-ground conservation projects, including pilot projects and field demonstrations. Proposed projects must conform to the description of innovative conservation projects or activities published in the funding notice. For example, technologies and approaches commonly used in the geographic area covered by the application, and which are eligible for EQIP funding, are not eligible for funding through CIG.
At least 50 percent of the total project cost must come from non-federal matching funds (cash and in-kind contributions) provided by the grantee. The grantee is also responsible for providing the technical assistance required to successfully complete the project. NRCS will provide technical oversight for each project receiving an award.
Proposed projects must involve EQIP-eligible producers. CIG funds provided directly or indirectly to producers are counted toward a producer’s EQIP payment limitation.
3 Different CIG Competitions
State Competition - The Alaska CIG component emphasizes projects that benefit a limited geographical area. One to three year projects stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies on agricultural lands in Alaska.
- FY22 State CIG Proposals due April 11, 2022
View Funding Announcement on grants.gov
National Competition - A CIG funding notice is announced each year. Funds for single- or multi-year projects, not to exceed three years, are awarded through a nationwide competitive grants process. Projects may be watershed-based, regional, multi-state or nationwide in scope. The natural resource concerns eligible for funding through CIG are identified in the funding announcement and may change annually to focus on new and emerging, high-priority natural resource concerns.
- FY22 National CIG Proposals due Oct. 11, 2022
- View Funding Announcement on grants.gov
On-Farm Trials National Competition - Up to $25 million annually is available for On Farm Trials, which support more widespread adoption of innovative approaches, practices and systems on working lands. On-Farm Trials projects feature collaboration between NRCS and partners to implement on-the-ground conservation activities and then evaluate their impact. Incentive payments are provided to producers to offset the risk of implementing innovative approaches.
- FY22 On-Farm Trials Proposals due Sept. 22, 2022
- View Funding Announcement on grants.gov
Alaska State CIG Competition
NRCS Alaska is making up to $415,000 available for CIG grants this year with an application deadline of April 11, 2022. Applications must be submitted online via grants.gov under funding announcement number USDA-NRCS-AK-CIG-22-NOFO0001148.
Watch Webinar Recording (45:42) of the CIG applicant webinar hosted March 11, 2022 by NRCS Alaska with more information about this funding opportunity.
How To Apply
All applications are submitted through Grants.gov
The grants.gov electronic submission interface is called Workspace. Workspace is the standard way for organizations or individuals to apply for federal grants in grants.gov. Workspace allows an applicant grant team to access and edit different forms within an application simultaneously. In addition, the forms may be filled out online or as a PDF.
Please allow extra time to register in Workspace because there are several preliminary registration steps before an applicant can submit the application. To register, go to grants.gov, click on “Applicants”, then click on “Get Registered.” If you have completed a prior grants.gov application, you may already have completed the registration process.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (e.g., Braille, large print, or audio tape) should contact the USDA TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).
Ready to get started?
Contact your local service center to start your application.