Congratulations to all the finalists of the Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics and to the winning Serbian team from the University of Novi Sad, our winners for their submission, ”Portfolio Optimization for Seed Selection in Diverse Weather Scenarios”. Out of more than 600 teams that signed up for The Challenge, their highly logical, thoughtfully executed submission stood above the rest.
That said, the field of submissions this year was absolutely outstanding. Very little separated the five finalist submissions, all of which raised the bar from last year’s Challenge. The judging team was impressed with the diversity and quality of every finalist submission this year.
While this challenge question was presented as a competition, the puzzle of seed breeding and selection is one that gets at the very heart of the crises facing the agriculture industry. With our global population expected to reach more than nine billion by the year 2050, we’ll have two billion more mouths to feed than we have today. Strains on agricultural productivity are in plain sight: we’ll need 30 percent more water, 50 more energy and 70 percent more yield to produce the food required to feed everyone. Our Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics is one step in the right direction toward meeting those goals.
I want to personally thank the judging committee for their time, dedication and effort over the past five months. Running this competition is a Challenge in itself, and a special thanks goes to Robin Lougee, our competition chairperson. Also, thank you to Bill Beavis, Arnie Greenland, Claudia Perlich, Jim Williams, Alexander Platt and Stein Wallace for serving on the committee.
Be on the lookout for our next Syngenta Crop Challenge, which is set to be announced later this spring. To register for the 2018 Challenge and be one of the first to receive the Challenge question, visit Ideaconnection.com/Syngenta-Crop-Challenge.