Tulane University Issues Grand Nitrogen Challenge

Hypoxic “dead zones” are a continuing problem in areas ranging from Lake Erie to the Gulf of Mexico and beyond, but officials at Tulane University reckon there’s a solution to the problem somewhere out there, and they’re willing to place a $1 million bet, writes Meister Media Worldwide director of content Jim Sulecki in a post on sister site CropLife.com.

The Tulane Nitrogen Reduction Grand Challenge – with registration at http://challenge.tulane.edu by no later than August 1 – welcomes entrepreneurs, researchers, and inventors worldwide to compete to offer the best possible and most practical solution. All technical submissions must arrive by September 30, and only the first 100 submissions will be reviewed.

A single award of $1 million will be awarded to the team that can meets the Challenge’s rules and can best fulfill two requirements:

  • Demonstrate the maximization of nutrient delivery efficiency and enhance yield in a trial agriculture production setting
  • Showcase how the innovation can be adopted in a real-world agriculture system of management to reduce the amount of nutrients available to move downstream.

Tulane notes that “grand challenges” long have been “socially innovative approaches to addressing problems that natural market forces have failed to solve.” For instance, in 1927 Charles Lindbergh won the Ortegi Prize and $25,000 when he became the first pilot to fly from New York to Paris. The human genome project also was spurred by a grand challenge.

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