Howard G Buffett Foundation has teamed up with the University of Wisconsin Madison to commit $215,000 to students who can demonstrate innovative ways to address challenges in Agriculture and Food Systems. The Agricultural Innovation Prize was developed to encourage cutting-edge technology in agricultural and food systems. It strives to connect various sectors and disciplines in an effort to better address the challenges of the 21st century. These challenges include bringing our food, climate and social systems within a safe operating space. It hopes to identify ways to achieve food security while keeping us within sound environmental boundaries. The Ag Prize seeks students who are interested in transforming global food systems into one that facilitates sufficiency and resilience. This transformation will occur with the increased awareness and attention of the next generation of leaders, unbridled by any number of constraints. Local and global food systems directly and indirectly interact with numerous parts of our globalized world. We intend to draw diverse student teams from a very wide range of disciplines and backgrounds to compete in the Ag Prize.Prize We’re proud to offer $215,000 in cash to winning teams, the largest cash prizes awarded in any student contest focused on agriculture worldwide. The prizes are broken up into multiple stages over the submission and refinement periods: 25 final teams will receive a $1,000 travel and presentation material stipend (less cost of hotel) to appear in Madison, WI for the final round of the competition.The team who receives the most online votes will receive an audience choice $15,000 cash prize. The mechanism by which this award is determined will be announced soon.The top four finalists will receive a $25,000 cash prize.The grand prize winner will receive a $100,000 cash prize.
Submissions to the Agricultural Innovation Prize are invited beginning on December 1st 2013 and the submission period will end on February 28th, 2014 at 11:59pm Central Standard Time (CST). Any questions or clarifications can be sent to [email protected]All teams must abide by the following rules of the Agricultural Innovation Prize to be considered eligible to compete. Any questions or clarifications can be sent to [email protected].Rule A team must consist of at least 50% students who are enrolled at half time or more at an accredited US college or university. Students may be U.S. nationals or international students.An entry must be a product, service, technology, or process (no policy, marketing, etc.).Individuals may participate on more than one team as long as each team is aware of the shared participation.Teams may not enter an existing business (greater than $50,000 in sales per year).Students must hold a controlling interest in any competition entry (business entity must be majority owned by participating students).Any coordinators for the Agricultural Innovation Prize with access to contest-entry materials, judges, mentors, or the competition management may not enter into the competition.Any funding raised or sales earned prior to entry must be declared in the competition entry. Failure to fully disclose funding or sales will result in disqualification.Any submitted materials must be the original work of a declared team member or held under a disclosed license.Teams are encouraged to pursue appropriate intellectual property protection (including but not limited to patents, copyright, trademark, trade secret, etc.) to protect their entry prior to disclosure in the competition.Any prizes awarded are at the sole discretion of the judging team and not subject to appeal.To receive any prize, a student member of the team must be present at the competition and awards ceremony.Eligible teams or individuals may submit more than one entry into the contest.All submitted work and materials must be the work of the entrants, except in the case of properly licensed intellectual property.Only student members of the team may present the competition material, however non-student team members are allowed to answer questions.The coordinating team with the Agricultural Innovation Prize reserves the right to withhold awarding of any prize should there be no worthy entry available.These rules, terms, and conditions may be updated or modified at any time. The Agricultural Innovation Prize will attempt to notify registered participants of the updated terms.Failure to abide by the rules, terms, and conditions may result in disqualification from current and future competitions years, subject to the sole discretion of the Agricultural Innovation Prize organizers.Prize Winning Teams:The finalist, grand prize, and audience vote prizes must be awarded to affiliated universities or legal business entities. The travel grants will be awarded to individuals, affiliated universities or legal business entities. As the award recipient, you decide to whom the award is granted. Please know there are definite tax implications tied to how the award is made.All finalist and grand prize teams must meet mandatory reporting requirements at 6 months and 1 year from the close of the competition. These reports must include an update on the state and status of the business and students involved, a summary of expenditures to date, and a trajectory or likely outcomes of the business looking 6 months in the future.Submission Requirement.The entry must address social and agricultural challenges within food systems to improve the standard of living and quality of life for the world’s population. Please also see the judging criteria and scope.The entry must be composed of a process, product, service, or technology.For the initial round of competition, each entry must consist of three elements that are submitted: a narrative of the business proposal that does not exceed two pages, a 200 word abstract of the business plan (that may be made publicly available), and a presentation (in the format of .ppt or .pptx) not to exceed ten slides.The 25 teams that are invited be compete in the semi-finals must submit: a narrative of the business proposal that does not exceed ten pages, a 200 word abstract of the business plan (that may be made publicly available), and a presentation (in the format of .ppt or .pptx) not to exceed 20 slides for a 15 minute oral presentation.There are no additional submission requirements for the final round of the competition. Semi-finalists will be able to modify their presentations before the final round of competition.Teams invited to compete in the semi-final competition (25-26 April 2014, Madison, WI) must be present to be eligible to receive any prize money. One thousand dollars will be awarded to the top 25 teams to facilitate travel.Entries for the first round of the competition must be received by February 28th, 2014 at 11:59pm Central Standard Time.Entries for the semi-final round of the competition must be received by April 18th, 2014 at 11:59pm Central Standard Time.All entries must be submitted through our online system in order to be eligible for the competition. Do not submit any entry materials via e-mail.
Submissions to the Agricultural Innovation Prize are invited beginning on December 1st 2013 and the submission period will end on February 28th, 2014 at 11:59pm Central Standard Time (CST). Any questions or clarifications can be sent to [email protected]