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ICL Challenge: Sustainable and Economical Peat Replacement for Horticulture

Challenge details

Name: ICL Challenge: Sustainable and Economical Peat Replacement for Horticulture
Challenge type: Ideation
Award: $15000
Deadline: 20th Dec 2021

Challenge overview


Peat, a naturally occurring material of partially decomposed plants and other organic matter, is the primary material used for decades to grow plants in pots and containers. Harvesting peat has a significant environmental impact and there is great pressure to reduce its use worldwide. Israel Chemicals Ltd (ICL), the Seeker for this Challenge, is looking for sustainable and economical alternatives to the use of peat for horticultural applications.

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



Peat is one of the main growing media used for growing plants in pots and containers. A naturally occurring material composed of partially decomposed plants and other organic matter, peat is vital to the world’s environment as the most efficient carbon sink on the planet. More carbon is stored in peat than all the other vegetation on earth, including the world’s forests. Peat is also used as a fuel in many regions and traditionally is used at the whiskey industry to create the distinctive “peaty” flavor but regardless of its end use the harvesting of peat significantly impacts the environment and due to this there is great pressure to reduce its use worldwide. The Seeker is looking for an environmentally-friendly, sustainable, and economical replacement for peat for use in growing plants in pots and containers.

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

  • There is a guaranteed award.  The award(s) will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $15,000, with at least one award being no smaller than $5,000 and no award being smaller than $2,500.
  • The Solvers are not required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights to the Seeker.  Rather, by submitting a proposal, the Solver grants to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual, and non-exclusive license to use any information included in this proposal, including for promotional purposes.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on 20-Dec-2021.
Late submissions will not be considered.

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 submit a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions; however, no detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.



This is an external Challenge only. Employees of the ICL Group and its subsidiaries are ineligible to receive awards for this Challenge.


ICL, a global manufacturer of products based on unique minerals, fulfills humanity’s essential needs, primarily in three markets: agriculture, food and engineered materials.

The experience, knowledge and professionalism derived from establishing Israel’s potash industry over a period of 80 years of intensive activity and major investment in R&D, have transformed ICL into a world leader in specialty fertilizers, bromine and flame retardants. ICL produces approximately a third of the world’s bromine, and is the world’s sixth largest potash producer, as well as one of its leading providers of pure phosphoric acid.

ICL’s operations are global and are supported by worldwide distribution and supply chains. Our mining and production sites are located in Israel, Europe, North and South America and China. ICL employs about 13,000 persons worldwide.


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.