New Uses for Field Corn as Feedstock for Making Sustainable Chemicals
Field corn production makes incredible contributions to human nutrition as a primary source of feed for cattle, hogs and poultry; to cleaner air and reduced greenhouse gases as the source of ethanol fuel; and to the economy.
The Consider Corn Challenge invites innovators, entrepreneurs, scientists and academics to redefine the role of corn and explore the broad horizon of opportunity for corn as a feedstock for making sustainable chemicals.
Today’s sustainably produced, consistent supply of renewable corn makes it an optimal resource to drive research and accelerate society’s shift to a thriving bio-based community.
About the Challenge
NineSigma, on behalf of The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), invites proposals for new uses of field corn as a feedstock for producing sustainable chemicals which have market demand.
The total prize pool is up to US$150,000 in the form of up to 6 prizes of US$25,000 each. NCGA may also explore funding or other support of an Entry for further development and/or commercialization, even if the Entry is not a prize winner.
Must submit a response by September 28, 2017 by 5:00 PM EDT to be eligible. See the Challenge Terms & Conditionsfor details.
The successful proposal will:
Use components of the corn kernel as primary feedstock
Have a clear path for scale-up to commercial scale
Enable a new market for corn
Should not detract from an existing corn market
Should lead to products with significant market demand
Involve a team with experience taking a process or plan from lab scale to commercial scale
This challenge is about finding new uses for field corn, the type of corn grown to feed animals and create a variety of products. This challenge is not about sweet corn.
Field corn production in the United States has increased from 4.2 billion bushels/year in 1970 to 13.6 billion bushels/year in 2015. Right now, there is a field corn surplus of 1.8 billion bushels. Farmers’ continued efficient production drives the need for new uses for field corn. The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) strategic plan includes a goal to establish three new uses that each utilize 25 million bushels or more by 2020.
Field corn is a reliable, cost-effective, and sustainable feedstock for chemicals. Corn growers have consistently produced more corn with fewer inputs and now there is adequate supply beyond what is needed for food for humans and feed for animals.