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.


This graphic (derived from: Community Food) illustrates the pieces of the food system where we are specifically seeking innovations. Competition materials should address challenges in one or more of these food system components  and recognize the complexity within the system.

The United States Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service posts a list of all patents available for license here.  This list is a great resource to consider, as you can leverage an available technology without  needing to devise your own.

If your idea doesn’t fit in the agricultural or food system ecosystem but is better aligned in another area, you should consider competing in another innovation prize – we have a short list of national competitions at the bottom of our references page.