Indigo Agriculture, a company dedicated to harnessing nature to help farmers sustainably feed the planet, announces the launch of The Terraton Challenge, a call for entrepreneurs and innovators to accelerate the sequestration of one trillion tons of atmospheric carbon dioxide into agricultural soils.
The Challenge is a component of The Terraton Initiative, established by Indigo in June 2019. By unlocking the potential of agricultural soils, The Terraton Initiative is one of the most immediate, scalable, and affordable opportunities to address climate change. The Terraton Challenge presents a path for innovators and entrepreneurs to invent solutions that accelerate this opportunity, representing a new frontier for technological innovation.
"We have the opportunity to draw down a trillion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, while improving the sustainability and resiliency of our food system," said Geoffrey von Maltzahn, Indigo's Chief Innovation Officer and Co-Founder. "This may be the most extraordinary innovation opportunity of our era and we encourage innovators across industries to participate. The Terraton Challenge will evaluate new ideas from around the world, test them, and rapidly scale up the best solutions."
For its inaugural year, The Terraton Challenge will focus on three opportunities for advancing the efficiency, affordability, and immediacy of large-scale agricultural sequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide:
Quantify: Proposals to catalyze a more efficient, scalable, and data-rich approach to soil sampling and carbon stock measurement.
Accelerate: Novel products and innovative processes that accelerate the speed at which carbon dioxide is captured and stored in agricultural soils, optimizing the impact of regenerative agricultural practices.
Reward: Additional proposals, in the form of new protocols, insurance products, or market-based incentives that reward growers for sequestering soil carbon or reducing emissions.
A select number of applicants will advance to the next round for a chance to compete as a semifinalist. Semifinalists in each track will be invited to BeneficialAg 2020, a growing community of stakeholders from across the value chain reimagining agriculture for people and the planet. Thousands of the most influential and innovative growers, buyers, investors, grain marketers, input companies, packaged goods companies, and soil and climate scientists will be in attendance.
Indigo has secured prominent thought leaders, from academics to entrepreneurs, to serve as judges, mentors, and advisors to the competitors. Additionally, Indigo is partnering with the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard to develop an enduring challenge framework that engages innovators from disparate disciplines and sectors across the globe.
As solutions are developed and scaled, semifinalists will receive advice on product development, software architecture, policy analysis, and other areas of study that are informing their solutions. Semifinalists will have the opportunity to test their solutions in real world conditions, through Indigo's network of grower partners with more than 1 million acres in cultivation, and compete for a $20K grant at BeneficialAg 2020.
Up to $3M in funded contracts will be awarded to winners to deploy their solutions on Indigo acres. Winners will maintain business independence and Intellectual Property rights to their solution. The Terraton Challenge application period will run for ten weeks, closing October 1, 2019.