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Dairy Packaging Innovation Grant

Grant Overview

The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center (NE-DBIC) announces the availability of funds through the Dairy Packaging Innovation Grant program. To remain competitive, Northeast dairy businesses need access to product packaging solutions that meet demands for sustainability as well as marketability. This program will provide grants to support modernized packaging initiatives that prioritize sustainability, scalability, and marketability. The NE-DBIC seeks industry players who are actively engaged in innovation through their business and/or organization to develop projects that support modernized, climate-forward dairy packaging initiatives which address the full life cycle of packaging from production to disposal or reuse. Projects should increase collaboration across the dairy sector to ensure the greatest number of businesses will benefit. All projects must:

  1. demonstrate sustainability, scalability, and marketability at the forefront
  2. demonstrate accessibility of packaging innovation, particularly for the scale of processors in the Northeast
  3. include an educational/knowledge sharing component for the industry. This does not exclude the ability for the grantee to acquire patent protections for technologies developed within this grant project.
  4. incorporate partnership across sectors (minimum of one dairy processor as a key partner, if applicant is not a dairy processor)

Projects may address topics such as, but are in no way limited to: packaging lifecycle analysis, costs of conversion, supply chain logistics, research and development, packaging design, processor packaging changeovers, infrastructure upgrades, and beyond. Projects focused on research, development, and analysis must contain outcomes that can be implemented or adopted, and the grantee must show commitment to resulting from research funding. Priority will go to projects that partner across the dairy and packaging manufacturing sector and those that can demonstrate how they will positively impact multiple dairy businesses and supply chain partners.

This grant round will include a two-step application process. Following the review of pre-applications, a subset of applicants will be invited to submit a full application.  

Grants will range from $75,000 to $350,000 with a 25% (cash or in-kind) match commitment required.  Total funds available: $1,000,000. 

***This grant is now closed. It is expected to reopen in June 2023.***


Applicants eligible for these funds must fall into at least one of the following categories:

  1. Dairy processor that transforms raw milk into an edible product with milk sourced from the Northeast region. Processors must be licensed in a way that their product can be sold across state lines. 
  2. Dairy producer association/dairy council which represents and promotes dairy products dairy/businesses of the Northeast region. 

  3. Packaging manufacturer that partners with at least one dairy processor or producer association, as defined above.  

  4. Supply chain business (e.g. distributor or retail operation) based/headquartered in the Northeast that partners with at least one dairy processor or producer association, as defined above. Supply chain businesses must source dairy products and purchases from and sell to businesses primarily in the Northeast.

  5. Educational/research institution that partners with at least one dairy processor or producer association, as defined above.

How to Apply

  1. Review the full Dairy Packaging Innovation Grant RFA (request for applications) for the complete details on eligible projects/applicants and the full application process when it becomes available in early summer.
  2. Register in WebGrants (may take up to two business days).
  3. Complete your pre-application in WebGrants using our Application Guide
  4. For those applicants invited to submit a full application, the application deadline will be announced in early summer

Have a Question about this Grant?

Contact Kathryn Donovan.

Northeast DBIC Staff

Laura Ginsburg, Center Lead
(802) 522-2252 

Kathryn Donovan, Regional Programs Manager
(802) 585-4571

Ben Eldredge, Grants Coordinator
(802) 522-9478

Ali Boochever, Grants Coordinator
(802) 261-5740

Katie Spring, Outreach & Content Specialist
(802) 522-3186

Stay Connected

Funding for the Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center is made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service through grants AM190100XXXXG081, AM200100XXXXG003, 21DBIVT1004-00, and AM21DBIVT1011-00. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA.