The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is launching its fourth iteration of the Consider Corn Challenge. This open-innovation contest invites participants to answer the call and submit proposals for new uses of field corn as a primary feedstock for producing novel sustainable chemicals and products with quantifiable market demand.
“Consumers have a genuine interest in biobased products; and corn is investing in solutions to meet that need,” said NCGA Market Development Action Team (MDAT) Chair and Colorado farmer Troy Schneider. “In order to continue drawing in the cutting-edge, game-changing participation we have seen for the past three years, the prize pool for the fourth challenge has been increased to $250,000.”
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 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.
“As corn farmers continue to press forward with advanced technology that allows them to do more with less, they are able to meet the growing needs for food, feed, fuel and new uses,” Schneider added. “This contest continues to help us think outside of the box and to meet the needs of our customers who are asking for sustainable, biobased products.”
One to six winners will be selected for the Consider Corn Challenge IV, with a total prize pool of U.S. $250,000, split equally between winners. The submission deadline is June 30, 2023, at 5 p.m. CT; and winners will be announced at October’s Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference (ABLC) in San Francisco.
To learn more: ncga.com/ConsiderCorn.