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BCI, IDH unveil 'Better Cotton Innovation Challenge'

Wed Dec 04 2019


The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), IDH The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), and Dalberg Advisors have unveiled the ‘Better Cotton Innovation Challenge’ – a global project inviting innovative ideas to improve sustainable cotton farming practices around the world. It asks innovators to find solutions on farmer training and efficient data collection.


The Innovation Challenge calls for innovators to submit disruptive solutions to enable effective and customised farmer training and efficient data collection. The deadline to apply to the Better Cotton Innovation Challenge is January 15, 2020.


Challenge one relates to 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,” BCI says.


Challenge two related to data collection. “Do you have an idea that could reduce the time and cost of farmer data collection to enable more efficient BCI licensing processes?” it says.


Challenge team is inviting innovators from universities, research and development labs, start-ups, and non-profit organisations to apply. Solutions could incorporate machine learning, satellite-based analytics, image recognition or behavioural nudges.


A prize money of EUR €135,000 will be spilt with up to four winners. Winners will also have the opportunity to pilot test and scale their innovations on the ground with BCI farmers.


“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, said.


“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, said.



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