Environmental Defense Fund is seeking a solution to the problem of agricultural nitrate pollution. Concepts for systems to capture or concentrate nitrates from agricultural field drainage are required.
Currently between 50% and 80% of fertilizer applied to commercial crops in the U.S. is not absorbed by the plants and is instead lost to water and air, causing dangerous environmental and health impacts in a growing number of watersheds around the country.
This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution.
Concepts for systems to capture, concentrate, or treat nitrates from agricultural field drainage are required. Tile drains (submerged porous pipes) are a cost effective and efficient way to improve drainage of agricultural land. Unfortunately, they also provide an efficient route for soil fertilizers (primarily nitrates) to pollute rivers, lakes, drinking water supplies, and ecosystems downstream. Nitrate capture and concentration or treatment (release as N2 gas) systems are required that would be amenable for application in agricultural settings and that are compatible with tile drainage systems.
Environmental Defense Fund seeks a win-win solution for farmers, the environment and farm economics. Farmers could reduce their operating costs by using fertilizer more efficiently, while mitigating the serious problems associated with nitrogen pollution: coastal dead zones, impaired drinking water supplies, degraded fisheries and recreational areas, and risks to human health.
This is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features:
After the Challenge deadline, the Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s).All Solvers that submitted a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions; however, no detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.
An InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge is a broad question formulated to obtain access to new ideas, similar to a global brainstorm for producing a breakthrough idea or market survey which may include ideas for a new product line, a new commercial application for a current product, or even a viral marketing idea to recruit new customers. Ideation™ Challenge submissions are typically about two written pages, and Seekers receive a non-exclusive, perpetual license to use all submissions.
In an Ideation™ Challenge, Solvers may:
Solvers should not reveal any confidential information in their submissions. Often the Ideation™ Challenge will be followed by one or more of the other three Challenge types to further develop the ideas and gain Intellectual Property protection when the concept has been well-defined.