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Challenge Highly Efficient Inactivation of Fungal Biomass
Highly Efficient Inactivation of Fungal Biomass
STATUS: Awarded
Active Solvers: 236
Posted: Nov 26 2013
Challenge ID: 9933388
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The Seeker is looking for novel methods of inactivating fungal biomass produced during manufacturing processes (fermentation). Disposal of the viable biomass is currently through incineration due to the regulatory guidance regarding disposing of living fungi. Incineration is non-sustainable and very expensive. The Seeker is looking to both reduce cost and also find a more sustainable mechanism of inactivation – ideally one that would result in an inactive biomass that was amenable to repurposing. 

How can large volumes of fungal biomass be most effectively inactivated? 

This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution.


During the production of biological enzymes that help create biofuels, the Seeker produces large volumes of fungal biomass that cannot be disposed of unless it is inactivated so that it is no longer capable of growth or reproduction.  Currently, thousands of tonnes of this biomass are inactivated by incineration and then disposed of in land-fill. 

The Seeker is aware of a large number of inactivation technologies and their limitations are described in the detailed challenge description. How can large volumes of fungal biomass be most effectively inactivated? 

Your creative ideas and evidence-based proposals are requested! 

This is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features:

  • There is a guaranteed award.  The awards will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $7,500, with at least one award being no smaller than $4,000 and no award being smaller than $1,000. 
  • The Solvers are not required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights to the Seeker.  Rather, by submitting a proposal, the Solvers grants to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual, and non-exclusive license to use any information included in this proposal.

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.

What is InnoCentive?
InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge?

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:

  • Submit ideas of their own
  • Submit third party information that they have the right to use and further the authority to convey that right and the right to use and develop derivative works to Seekers
  • Submit information considered in the public domain without any limitations on use

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.

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