New Global Challenge Launched to Find Innovative Solutions to Sustainable Cotton Farming Challenges

Announcements Monday, December 2nd, 2019

 
Join the webinar on Wednesday 18 December to find out more. Register here.

The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and IDH The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), with the support of Dalberg Advisors, have launched the ‘Better Cotton Innovation Challenge’ – a global project seeking innovative ideas and solutions to improve sustainable cotton farming practices around the world.

The Innovation Challenge calls for innovators to submit disruptive solutions to enable effective and customised farmer training and efficient data collection.

Challenge One: Customised Training

We are looking for innovations that can help bring customised training on more sustainable farming practices to hundreds of thousands of cotton farmers across the globe.

Challenge Two: Data Collection

We are looking for solutions that could reduce the time and cost of farmer data collection to enable more efficient BCI licensing processes.

Solutions could incorporate machine learning, satellite-based analytics, image recognition or behavioural nudges, for example. The challenge team invites innovators from universities, research and development labs, start-ups and non-profit organisations to apply. Innovators will undergo three competitive application stages, receive mentorship from experts and gain access to networking opportunities with industry leaders. The finalists will have the opportunity to pilot test their solution on the ground with BCI Farmers. A prize fund of EUR €135,000 will be spilt between up to four winners who will potentially have the opportunity to launch their innovation.

“BCI has scaled rapidly over the past decade, and we now work with our partners to provide training, support and capacity building to more than 2.2 million cotton farmers. We are always looking for new ideas and solutions to enable us to keep improving the BCI programme. This is the first time we have launched a global challenge! We encourage anyone who is sitting on an excellent idea, to come forward and submit your application.”– Cristina Martin Cuadrado, Programme Manager, BCI

We have partnered with Dalberg Advisors on the Innovation Challenge to identify solutions which will help us deepen the impact the BCI programme has on cotton farmers and accelerate the adoption of sustainable cotton farming practices globally. – Pramit Chanda, Country Director, IDH.

The deadline to apply to the Better Cotton Innovation Challenge is Wednesday 15 January 2020. More information is available on the challenge website: bettercottonchallenge.org.

For interested applications, further details will be shared during a webinar on Wednesday 18 December at 1:00PM IST. Register here.

About the Innovation Challenge Organisers

The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) – a global not-for-profit – is the largest cotton sustainability programme in the world. The initiative aims to transform cotton production worldwide by developing Better Cotton as a sustainable mainstream commodity. BCI partners with on-the-ground Implementing Partners to provide training on more sustainable farming practices to more than two million cotton farmers in 21 countries. In the 2017-18 cotton season, licenced BCI Farmers produced more than five million metric tonnes of ‘Better Cotton’ – accounting for 19% of global cotton production.

IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) convenes companies, civil society organisations, governments and others in public-private partnerships in order to drive the joint design, co-funding and prototyping of new economically viable approaches. IDH is supported by multiple European governments, including the institutional donors: BUZA, SECO and DANIDA.

Dalberg Advisors is a global advisory firm that provides high-level strategic policy and investment advice to the leadership of key institutions, corporations and governments, working collaboratively to address pressing global problems and generate positive social impact. Dalberg works to build a more inclusive and sustainable world where all people, everywhere, can reach their fullest potential. Dalberg has a global presence, covering 25 countries across continents.