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What is a Grand Challenge? 

Grand Challenges are socially innovative approaches to addressing problems that natural market forces have failed to solve. In 1927 Charles Lindbergh claimed the Ortegi Prize and $25,000 when he became the first to fly from New York to Paris. Recent examples and successes include the human genome project and the Ansari Prize resulting in the introduction of commercial space travel.

As defined by the White House, "Grand Challenges are ambitious, yet achievable goals to solve society's biggest issues through innovation and breakthroughs in science, technology and implementation strategies."

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The Tulane University Nitrogen Reduction Challenge seeks innovative in-field solutions to combat hypoxia, a deadly deficiency of oxygen in water created by the excessive growth of phytoplankton.

The Competition

The Tulane Nitrogen Reduction Challenge will seek innovative in-field solutions that will reduce crop fertilizers and runoff, with the goal of combating hypoxia and global "Dead Zones".

The $1 million prize will be awarded to the Team that best achieves the Challenge goals, per Challenge Rules.

Challenge Definitions

"In-Field Solution”
An in-field solution (whether that is a technology, additive, application technique, decision system etc.) operates on and within the agricultural field itself. It does not operate at the edge of field, nor downstream of the field. 

"Beta Trial"
A beta trial is the second phase of the evaluation. In the first phase, technical submissions are evaluated for effectiveness, logistics of implementation, and market applicability. In the second phase (or beta trial) the selected solutions will be tested on a small scale in field testing platform to evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented solution. 

"Market Sustainability Testing"
Market sustainability testing is defined as a description of the market that the proposed solution is being sold in. The testing component would show how the solution has been tested in the market in which it is desired to be implemented in, including what the market is, where it would be adopted, the size of the market, and the sustainability of that market. Sustainability is defined as the duration to which the market will accept and hold value on the proposed solution. 

Scaleability is defined as the ability of the solution to scale in production and implementation. Scaleability highlights how the technology can be ramped up to cover 1) a production increase, and 2) whether it is adaptable to larger field circumstances (e.g., can operate from sub acre scale to 10,000’s of acres scale).

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 504-865-4000