The Kansas Bioscience Authority is devoting $2.5 million to fund a new research initiative intended to protect the nation's food supply, reports the Kansas City Star.

Through the new Collaborative Biosecurity Research Initiative, the KBA will provide grants committed to such efforts as developing ways to counter and detect foreign-animal diseases.

The research initiative is aimed at potential terrorist strikes, accidental exposure and natural disease outbreaks, which could cause major disruptions in the food supply and the national economy, said Tom Thornton, president of the state-financed bioscience authority.

"We're issuing a call for the nation's brightest researchers to partner with us to protect public health and safeguard the agricultural economy," Thornton said.

The initiative requires collaboration among scientists at federal laboratories, universities or research institutions and the Biosecurity Research Institute teams at Kansas State University.

Source: The Kansas City Star