The FIG Team

We have a team of dedicated people working to make fresh food more accessible.

Our vision at Food Intelligent Grids is to improve food security by creating smart urban food systems. 

FoodIntelligentGrids' Foundation


A May 2015 workshop of the Italian National Research Council's (CNR) Foresight Project proposed that “Smartgrids for Food Systems” could be developed to improve food system efficiency. Existing and emerging technologies could be systematically applied in a smartgrid approach to match capacity and need.


The core concepts are that on-demand data for nutrition need, production capacity, and supply chain limitations can be used to match need to supply. Furthermore, a variety of technologies can be applied to effectively reduce the resource needs (time, energy and cost) from source to consumer so that a grid can work to deliver time sensitive nutrition in fresh foods. Food Intelligent Grids (FIG) represents application of the Smartgrids for Food Systems concept to urban settings and was initiated through partnerships of the initial case studies developed by CNR. The aim of FIG is to develop and apply the smartgrid concept to urban food systems. We intend to do this through research coordination and through practical development of smartgrid concepts in selected urban settings.


Our Mission:

Research: Lead coordinated research to develop science and technologies that can make food systems more responsive to the needs of malnourished urban populations.

Implementation: Link community leaders, farmers, food processors, waste utilizers, consumers, policy makers, and technology providers in social and informatics networks that create predictable markets throughout the circular economies in local food systems. 


Board Members

Robert Rudnisky

Greg Watson

Barr Weiner

Our Team

Richard Canady


Richard held senior science and policy roles working on human health risk for emerging issues at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control, and the White House Executive Office of the President. He founded the NanoRelease Consortia to develop nanomaterial exposure measurement methods in 2010 while directing the Center for Risk Science Innovation and Application that he created for the ILSI Research Foundation. He founded NeutralScience in 2015 to facilitate expert engagement in public health in the face of rise in misinformation about science in public policy. He founded Food Intelligent Grids in 2017 in collaboration with partners convened through the Italian National Research Council to develop safe smartgrid food systems in urban settings. Richard earned a PhD from the Rockefeller University in New York in 1986.

Renee Canady


Renee Canady has extensive clinical experience in the healthcare arena as a nurse in primary care, preventive health and high risk obstetrics. She has served in administrative and executive positions, most recently as the Deputy Chief of Staff at Defense Center of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury with Defense Health Agency. She has served the Director as Deputy and Executive Officer at the United States Public Health Service Headquarters in Rockville, MD. 

As an RN with an MS in Quality Systems Management, Renee has been project and budget manager for major programs in the Office of the Secretary, Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Food and Drug Administration. With over 19 years of active duty time in the Army, Air Force, and Public Health Service, Renee currently holds the rank of Captain. 

Abigail Gullett

Program Manager

Abigail has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Washington. She has 2 years of experience in public service with Washington State Parks and 3 years of experience supervising vulnerable adults as a nursing assistant.

She has strong interests in sustainable agriculture and public service. As a consultant for NeutralScience, she has developed web content and contributed to the development of Food Intelligent Grids.

Our partners

Cecilia Bartolucci, PhD

Coordinator of the Working Group on Food
Foresight Project of the National Research Council of Italy (CNR)

David Carlander, PhD

Director Regulatory Affairs

Nanotechnology Industries Association (NIA)

Jo Anne Shatkin, PhD


Vireo Advisors

Martie van Tongeren, PhD

Professor, Division of Population Health

University of Manchester

Nilofer Ahsan

Vice President, Precision Urban Agriculture Initiative

Institute for Transformative Technologies (ITT)

Romy Chakraborty, PhD

Ecology Department Head, Earth and Environmental Sciences Area

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories (LBNL) Precision Urban Agriculture Initiative

Maurizio Vecchione

Executive Vice President of Global Good & Research 
Global Good idea by Intellectual Ventures

Recent Publications

Nanotechnologies in Food: Edition 2

Nanotechnologies in Food provides an overview of the products and applications of nanotechnologies in agri-food and related sectors. Following on from the success of the first edition, this new edition has been revised and updated to bring the reader fully up to date on the emerging technological, societal, and policy and regulatory aspects in relation to nanotechnologies in food. This book contains new chapters discussing some of the aspects that have attracted a lot of debate and research in recent years, such as how the regulatory definition of ‘nanomaterial’ is shaping up in Europe and whether it will result in a number of exciting food additives being regarded as nanomaterials, how the new analytical challenges posed by manufactured nanoparticles in food are being addressed and whether the emerging field of nano delivery systems for food ingredients and supplements, made of food materials or other soft/degradable polymers, can raise any consumer safety concerns. The edition concludes by discussing the future trends of the technological developments in the area of nanotechnologies and potential future ‘fusion’ with other fields, such as biotechnology and synthetic biology. This book provides a source of much needed and up-to-date information on the products and applications of nanotechnology for the food sector - for scientists, regulators, and consumers alike. It also gives an independent, balanced, and impartial view of the potential benefits as well as risks that nanotechnology applications may bring to the food sector. Whilst providing an overview of the state-of-the-art and foreseeable applications to highlight opportunities for innovation, the book also discusses areas of uncertainty in relation to public perception of the new technological developments, and potential implications for consumer safety and current regulatory controls. The book also discusses the likely public perceptions of nanotechnologies in the light of past technological developments in the food sector, and how the new technology will possibly be regulated under the existing regulatory frameworks.

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