Catalyzing the next generation of soil carbon sampling & measurement systems

The opportunity

Conventional methods of quantifying soil carbon require soil core sample collection, transportation, and lab analysis to deliver precise results. While these methods are trusted and widely adopted, they can be time consuming, labor intensive, and expensive.

The Challenge 

Efficient, accurate, and low-cost soil carbon analysis technologies, specifically those that enable in-field or remote analysis of soil carbon, will accelerate our understanding of soil carbon and hasten adoption of management practices that sequester carbon. To create the next generation of soil carbon monitoring and verification systems, we seek solutions that quantify soil carbon in more scalable ways.

Potential solutions for quantifying soil carbon

Better tools for extracting samples (especially to > 50 cm depth)
Better tools for measuring bulk density
Autonomous systems (stationary or mobile) that extract soil samples or directly quantify  soil carbon
In-field carbon analysis tools, such as handheld spectroscopy systems or planted sensors
Solutions that enable remote analysis of soil carbon by drone, satellite, etc.
Technologies to automate in-field and in-lab processing
Improvements in lab-based technology
Algorithms for optimizing where to sample
What’s your idea?

 

Quantify solutions will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Accurately and precisely measures soil carbon and demonstrates negligible bias and minimal sampling variance
  • Measures carbon as deeply as possible and in as many soil types as possible
  • Quickly produce readings, extractions, maps, etc.
  • Easily implemented in the field or lab environment and reduces labor requirements
  • Scalable and applicable across the globe
  • Reduces cost by improving efficiency, minimizing equipment, or other mechanisms
  • Improves connectivity, tagging, tracking, and convenience
  • Designed with field work in mind to handle all weather conditions and be easily transported

How The Terraton Challenge works

PHASE 1: APPLICATION JUL. 23 - OCT. 1, 2019

During this 10-week application period, you may submit your application using the specific website form for your category of interest.

PHASE 2: COHORT SELECTION OCT. 1 - OCT. 22, 2019

Over the course of three weeks, Indigo’s panel of judges including thought leaders, academics & entrepreneurs will review applications. A select number of round 1 applicants will be invited to the next round as semi-finalists. Semi-finalists will be announced on Oct. 22.

PHASE 3: INCUBATION NOV. 2019 - JAN. 2020

Semi-finalists moving forward will be eligible for up to $60k in grants and $3M in contracts. They will join a virtual incubation cohort with access to mentors, review panels, expert speakers & real-world experimentation.

PHASE 4: EXPERIMENTATION & REFINEMENT FEB. - OCT. 2020

During this time all semi-finalists will work with Indigo staff and mentors to pilot their solutions on research acres and prepare for live demos at the BeneficialAg 2020 Conference. Post-BeneficialAg 2020, all semi-finalists will continue to refine their solutions and prep for the final contract stage.

PHASE 5: DEMONSTRATION JUN. 2020

All semi-finalists will demo at BeneficialAg 2020, an important multi-thousand attendee event that convenes stakeholders from across the supply chain to reimagine ag for people & planet. The winner in each category will receive a $20k grant to accelerate their work.

PHASE 6: AWARD OCT. 2020

Select finalists with scalable solutions will be eligible for up to $3M contracts by Indigo, all while maintaining business independence and IP rights to their solution.

Why participate in The Terraton Challenge?

Quantify FAQs

Is there a minimum sample depth requirement to be competitive?

We are seeking solutions that quantify changes in soil carbon in at least the top 30 cm. However, innovations that quantify carbon at depths shallower than 30 cm will still be considered.

What is the standard for quantifying soil carbon that we are compared against?

Solutions will be compared against the current gold standard for soil carbon measurement which is dry combustion.

Are proxies of soil carbon (i.e. properties correlated with soil carbon) eligible?

Yes. As long as those proxies can be used to detect changes in soil carbon, they are eligible.

Ready to apply for the Quantify track?

Fill out the application below. Applications are due by October 1!

By registering, you acknowledge that you have read and agreed to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Explore the other tracks

Accelerate

Reward

Overview

The Terraton Challenge is subject to contest rules, terms and conditions located here. The Terraton Challenge is made up of two separate contests: an initial screening contest (“Round One”) and a semi-finalist contest (“Final Round”). By submitting an application, applicants are enrolling in Round One only. The only potential prize for Round One is an invitation to participate in the Final Round, subject to additional terms and conditions, acceptance of which are required to participate in such Final Round. Submission of an application to Round One does not guarantee participation in the Final Round.  Only Round One winners are eligible to participate in the Final Round. Subject to additional terms, Final Round participants may be eligible for a chance to win a grant of up to $20,000.00 and one or more contracts with Indigo that may be worth up to $3 million in total. No purchase necessary to enter. Contests are void where prohibited.

Not ready to apply but interested in learning more?