More than one million USD awarded to innovative projects using big agricultural data

More than one million USD in grants was awarded to eight Inspire Challenge projects that leverage CGIAR data to solve agriculture development challenges.

The Inspire Challenge is the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture´s innovation process that seeks to source and foster new solutions for digital agriculture in developing economies. The awards were announced during the final day of CGIAR´s 2019 BIG DATA convention, 18 October.

The four pilot project winners and four scale-up winners were announced on the final day of the third annual Big Data in Agriculture Convention, attended by more than 650 experts and members of the global scientific community, and held at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).

Pilot project grants of 100,000 USD were awarded to:

Scale-up grants were awarded to four of last year’s winners who demonstrated exceptional results, proven viability, and potential for impact. Scale-up funds grants are given to support pilots with the greatest scaling and impact potential to mature further and strengthen their business case to the point that they are able to attract investment capital

Scale-up grants were awarded to:

To date, the Challenge has awarded more than three million USD to innovative pilot projects using big data approaches to advance agricultural research and development.

The winners are groundbreaking innovations with real potential for developmental impact, have mobilized underused or misused data, and demonstrate meaningful partnerships with CGIAR and other sector members.

More than 150 applications from across the world were submitted for the 2019 Challenge, a record number of submissions. Proposals were accepted for four categories: revealing food systems, monitoring pests and diseases, sensing and renewing ecosystems, and empowering data-driven farming.

The applications underwent a preliminary judging phase, and ten finalists were selected to pitch to a panel of expert judges at the 2019 Big Data in Agriculture Convention.

Judges for the pilot project grants included Ana Castillo Leska (Inter-American Development Bank), Cheryl Porter (University of Florida), Carolyn Florey (the International Rice Research Institute), and Courtney Heldreth (Google).

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The CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture embraces the power of big data analytics, supporting CGIAR as it becomes a leader in generating actionable data-driven insights. It builds capacity throughout CGIAR to generate and manage big data, assisting CGIAR and its partners’ efforts to comply with open access/open data principles to unlock important research and datasets. It also empowers researchers to strengthen data analytical capacity, developing practical big data tools and services in a coordinated way, and it addresses critical gaps, both organizational and technical, expanding the horizon of CGIAR research. The Platform is co-led by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is a not-for-profit international agriculture research organization. ICRISAT works across sub-Saharan Africa and Asia with a wide array of partners. The semi-arid tropics or drylands cover 6.5 million square kilometers of land in 55 countries and are home to over two billion people. ICRISAT is headquartered in Hyderabad, India, with two regional hubs and six country offices in sub-Saharan Africa.

CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food-secure future dedicated to reducing poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security and improving natural resources. CIAT, IFPRI and ICRISAT are members of the CGIAR Consortium.

October 21, 2019

Hannah Craig

Communications Deputy
CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture
Cali, Colombia

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