Next Gen Fertilizer Innovations Challenge Winners
Learn more about the Next Gen Fertilizer Challenges.
Congratulations to the enhanced efficiency fertilizer technology concept winners listed below. An expert judging panel evaluated solutions based on the technical criteria of the ‘Next Gen Fertilizer Innovations Challenge.’
Tier 1 Winners ($17,500 prize):
- Taylor Pursell, Pursell Agri-Tech, for their submission on “Urea 2.0” which replaces the conventional urea core with a customizable mixture of inhibitors, micronutrients, and/or biological materials to provide fertilizers tailored to local needs.
- Dr. Christopher Hendrickson, Aqua-Yield, for their submission on a nano-smart-fertilizer based on silica nano particles that carry fertilizer cargo and dissolve into soil minerals and release fertilizers upon contact with root exudates.
Tier 2 Winners ($10,000 prize):
- Dr. Catherine Roue, Fertinagro Biotech International/ Agraux Solutions International, for their submission on the “Phosphate Liberation Booster” technology which uses concentrated root exudates from P-starved plants to enable the application of less fertilizer P and more widely available P sources.
- Dr. Kuide Qin, Verdesian Life Sciences, for their submission on using innovative eutectic mixture technologies to dramatically improve the performance of an industry standard nitrapyrin for greater longevity, less nitrate leaching, and no evidence of corrosion of farm equipment in field trials and lab simulated tests.
- Chandrika Varadachari, AgTec Innovations Inc., for their submission on “Smart-N” which is a smart-fertilizer releases nutrient on-demand by the crop and is made up of short-chain polyphosphates linked with Ca to create a “cage” for urea which dissolves into plant nutrients (i.e., N, P, and Ca) when it comes into contact with root exudates.
Tier 3 Winners (Honorable Mention – no cash prize):
- Dr. Jaroslav Nisler, Institute of Experimental Botany, The Czech Academy of Sciences, for his submission on derivatives of the synthetic plant growth hormone MTU, which inhibit the breakdown of Photosystem II, causing longer periods of growth, protection from stress, larger plants, and potentially less nutrient loss per unit of fertilizer applied.
- Dr. Leanne Gilbertson, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, for her team’s submission on liposome carriers for fertilizers, which create a protected fertilizer package” rather than a conventional solid coated fertilizer, to carry nutrients through soil pores to the rhizosphere where the liposome destabilizes due to changes in rhizosphere conditions releasing the fertilizer cargo.
- Dr. Robert Neidermyer, Holganix LLC, for their submission on “Bio 800+” a microbial inoculant that harnesses the power of over 800 species of soil microbes, kelp, and other soil amending ingredients to promote greater crop production and plant health.
- Paul Mullins, Brandon Products Ltd., for their submission on “BBS-1” which is a biostimulant derived from seaweed extract that is applied as a coating to standard granular fertilizer that upregulates gene expression for N uptake proteins in root cells when in the rhizosphere.
**Disclaimer of Endorsement
Commercial products listed above have been evaluated based solely on meeting eligibility and technical criteria for this Challenge. EPA is not endorsing these companies. They have met technical requirements to compete in the Next Gen Fertilizer Innovation Challenge competition to identify novel technologies for fertilizers and other product technology innovations to reduce environmental releases of nitrogen and phosphorus from corn and other row crops in the U.S. Submissions to the Next Gen Fertilizer Innovation Challenge may include technologies that are not currently on the market or technology concepts that are not traditional EEFs and not in commercial use as a fertilizer. According to the eligibility criteria outlined for this Next Gen challenge, all recipients meet eligibility requirements.