Syngenta and INFORMS Announce New Crop Challenge Award in Analytics, Operations ResearchApplying Analytics Innovation to Address Worsening Worldwide Hunger
CATONSVILLE, MD, October 1, 2015 – The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences , the leading professional association in analytics and operations research, and Syngenta, announce a new, joint award, the Syngenta Crop Challenge, which will focus on ways that analytics can address the problem of feeding millions of people throughout the world who face hunger every day.
“This new competition will give our members the chance to apply their considerable talent in analytics to the terrible worldwide problem of hunger and poverty,” says Glenn Wegryn, President of the INFORMS Analytics Section and Executive Director of the Center for Business Analytics at the University of Cincinnati Carl H. Lindner College of Business.
The INFORMS Analytics Section, comprising academics and practitioners, promotes the integration of a wide range of analytical techniques and supports activities that illuminate significant innovations and achievement in the growing field of analytics.
Nearly 7 million hectares of farmland are lost to soil erosion every year. Many people who produce the world’s food are living in poverty. Biodiversity is disappearing fast. And the challenge won’t get any easier: by 2050, for example, 4 billion people will be living in countries with water scarcity.Each year, farmers have to make decisions about what crops to plant given uncertainties in expected weather conditions and knowledge about the soil at their respective farms. These decisions have important impacts; an unusual weather pattern can have disastrous impacts on crops, but planting to hedge against stressful weather patterns can dramatically reduce yields in normal years.
How can a farmer make seed variety decisions that optimally reduce risk and increase yield?
This is a question that experts in analytics and operations research can address by competing to win the new Syngenta Crop Challenge.
Case details will be announced at the 2015 INFORMS Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, which takes place November 1-4. Teams must submit their report by January 2016. Finalists will be announced in March 2016. Finalists will make their presentation at the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research in Orlando, Florida, which takes place April 10-12, 2016.
The winner of the first competition will be announced at the 2016 INFORMS Annual Meeting and receive a $5,000 prize.