The National Corn Growers Association is launching its fourth iteration of the Consider Corn Challenge. This open-innovation contest invites participants to submit proposals to find game-changing new uses for field corn, leading to products with significant market demand, without detracting from an existing corn market.
For 2023, the prize pool has increased, with a total of $250,000 to be split equally between one and size winners, based on the strength of competing submissions. Additionally, the NCGA or its state or other partners may explore funding or other support of an entry for further development and/or commercialization, even if the Entry is not a prize winner.
Previous winners of the Consider Corn Challenge contests have scaled up to the next phase of development, received additional grant funding, entered into joint agreements, and obtained registration for state biobased production incentives.
The entry deadline is 5 p.m. CT June 30. An informational webinar will take place at 2 p.m. CT April 27 at this link, and winners of the contest will be notified Sept. 8.
You can enter the challenge here.
According to the NCGA, here are the eligibility guidelines:
- The following types of approaches are ineligible:
- Proposals which provide only incremental improvements for established commercial processes
- Approaches that displace corn in a 1:1 fashion, for example a technology for converting corn to fuel ethanol that doesn’t dramatically improve economics
- Proposals for new foods derived from corn
- Proposals for sweet corn
- The following individuals are ineligible to submit:
- Submissions from individuals who do not own the represented intellectual property (IP) or who have not been authorized by the IP owner(s) to submit on their behalf are ineligible.
- A previous winner of the Consider Corn Challenge I or Consider Corn Challenge II or Consider Corn Challenge III may not submit a proposal that represents substantially the same approach that NCGA already recognized as a winner.
- A previous submitter who did not win may submit again if they have made substantial improvements and progress toward commercialization or have identified new markets which may offer greater volumes of corn utilization.
“The Consider Corn Challenge brought Låkril Technologies visibility and contact with multiple corn growers associations and industrial corporations,” said Chris Nicholas, co-founder and president of Låkril Technologies and a past winner of Consider Corn Challenge III. “Relationships developed from this interaction allowed us to scale out and expand our business.”
If all 15 winners of the Consider Corn Challenge I, II & III reached full commercialization with products available in the marketplace, the potential for additional corn demand would be approximately 3.4 billion bushels.