Learn more about the Consider Corn Challenge III submission process and find out how successful winners have moved closer to commercialization by watching a recent informational webinar. Consider Corn Challenge II winner Derek Wells, CEO and founder of ExoPolymer, participated in the webinar to share his experience of the process and the benefits he’s received from participating in the Challenge.
“As we were starting our company, having that discretionary funding available was very, very helpful in the beginning,” Wells told participants. “And a little bit more important, as we evolved the company here, are the agricultural network connections in the Midwest that the corn growers provided to us. Being out here in California as a startup company, we don't have a lot of insight into all the interesting things that are happening out in the Midwest, especially with regard to fermentation capacity.”
Specific application areas being considered for this Challenge include:
- Biobased materials from novel mixes of corn-derived plastics
- Compostable plastics with high tensile strength, such as netting or packaging materials
- Heavy-duty fuels or drop-in chemicals (e.g., sustainable aviation fuel; biodiesel derived from corn glucose, bunker fuel, etc.)
- Carbon fiber
- Other high-value molecules
Submissions are due on June 3, 2021, at 4:00 PM CDT. A total prize pool of U.S. $150,000 will be split equally between one to six winners, based on the strength of competing submissions.
If all nine winners of the Consider Corn Challenge I & II reached full commercialization with products available in the marketplace, the potential for additional corn demand could be approximately 2.9 billion bushels.