Inspire

Demonstrating the power of big data analytics through inspiring and innovative projects

What is the Inspire Challenge?

Global agriculture is increasingly driven by data. Advances in computing power, data storage, and data communications over the last 30 years have given rise to powerful tools for helping make farming and food systems more precise, profitable, and adaptive. Newer digital innovations — including machine learning, the expansion of connected sensor technologies, and robotics — promise more dramatic changes in the farming landscape in the near future.

The Inspire Challenge is CGIAR’s signature digital innovation process. It leverages the global footprint and deep food security subject matter expertise of CGIAR with expert industry partners to link digital technologies to impact in developing economies.

 

The Challenge:

  • Bridges the deep subject matter expertise of CGIAR researchers with the capabilities of external partners
  • Challenges research organizations to partner with industry in order to leverage public good data
  • Robust, established application and review process evaluated on the following:
0

SCALE

INNOVATION

IMPACT

PITCH QUALITY

DATA USE

SUSTAINABILITY

More info:

Application process

Challenge 2018

Challenge 2017

Grants that make a difference

The Inspire Challenge has so far awarded a total of US$1.5 million in grants to 10 projects.

In 2017 and 2018, five projects received an initial grant of US$100,000 each. In addition, three of the five 2017 winners that successfully demonstrated the viability of their innovation were awarded an additional scale-up award of US$500,000 in 2018 to share among them, demonstrating CGIAR’s continued commitment to scale and sustainability of projects.

WINNING PROJECTS

USD IN TOTAL GRANTS AWARDED TO DATE

USD AWARDED FOR PROJECTS TO SCALE UP

The three Inspire projects that were awarded a scale-up grant in 2018 are already showing impact on the life of smallholder farmers in the developing world:

2018 scale up winner

SEEING IS BELIEVING

Picture-based advisory services make crop insurance work for smallholder farmers in India

Early results: Pictured-based advisories have improved the correlation between insurance payouts and the damage that farmers experience. Farmers are therefore willing to pay more for a combined advisory-insurance package. If insurers can promote the adoption of risk-preventive measures by farmers, they could potentially reduce insurance premiums.

2018 scale up runner

AFRICA FARMERS CLUB

A Facebook group and Messenger chatbot to connect and inform livestock farmers in Kenya

Early results: The project has built a Facebook community called Africa Farmers Club and mobile chatbot service. A survey of chatbot users revealed that 92% of the 2,473 respondents that were farming at the time of the survey said the Africa Farmers Club had influenced the way they farmed.

2018 scale up runner

MARPLE DIAGNOSTICS

Mobile and real-time diagnostics for devastating wheat rust in Ethiopia

Early results: The project has developed an affordable, mobile in-field pathogenomics platform called MARPLE (Mobile And Real-time PLant disEase), which provides extremely rapid diagnostics ( < 48H). The data generated by the pilot has been incorporated into national early wheat rust warning systems in Ethiopia, enabling more effective control of disease outbreaks in farmers’ fields.

Join the Challenge

The Inspire Challenge team seeks co-investors and thought partners to strengthen the incubation to acceleration pipeline for digital agriculture:

Co-invest

In the 2019 Inspire Challenge through a partial or full award sponsorship

Co-create

A 2019 Inspire Challenge category

Co-lead

In the development of the next generation of innovative solutions in agriculture