2020 Challenges

Commercialization Partnerships for a Colloidal Barrier Mulch

Seeking partnerships with commercial entities interested in joint product development or exclusive licensing for a patent pending biobased colloidal barrier that could be used as a plastic mulch replacement or covering application for agricultural products.

Fresh Meat Shelf Life

Cargill is seeking innovative solutions that extend shelf life of refrigerated meat and egg products, while maintaining our commitments to sustainability, quality, optimal nutrition and food safety.

Sustainable Winter Road Maintenance Solutions

Products and services that will enable winter road maintenance with increased sustainability. 

Small Farmer Financial Resource Tools

Compeer is looking to find efficient methods to serve small and micro farms efficiently so that the farmers can concentrate on producing quality products and get the products to market in timely fashion.

End of Life Value Creation for
Flexible Packaging

Looking for flexible packaging technology that allows for value capture at the end of its initial intended life.

Treatment of Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

Seeking treatment solutions that can significantly reduce the amount of Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in water entering food and beverage manufacturing facilities.

De-Risking Supply-Chains for Forever Green Crops

FGP seeks partners at all stages in crop supply chains to collaborate in developing and testing Innovative risk-sharing and contracting methods for Forever Green crops. 

Optimization of Organic Feed Usage

Efficient and effective handling and marketing solutions to add value to small batch organic distillers’ grains from corn.

Cropping Innovations for Beef, Poultry and Swine Feed

We are seeking insight and partnership strategies to expand incorporation of regionally appropriate small grains such as oats and cover crops in corn/soy production systems with the aim of reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint and improving the water stewardship of crops used in beef, turkey, chicken and/or swine feed.

Paper Tape for Corrugated Containers

Create a self-wound paper (fiber) based adhesive tape that is recyclable with the corrugated containers it is intended to seal and does not require water to activate.

Nutrient Separation and Re-usable Poultry Bedding

Hormel and Jennie-O seek partnership to address the challenge to develop environmentally sustainable solution for poultry litter.

Novel Uses for Milk and Whey Permeate

Identify novel Industrial uses for Milk Permeate or Whey Permeate in Liquid or Dry form.  Both Milk and Whey Permeates may also be known as Dairy Product Solids.  Note:  Compositions are given on an “As Is” basis.

End Uses for Recycled Flexible Plastic Packaging

MBOLD recognizes that the development of end-markets for products made from recycled resin using flexible plastic films is key to a more circular approach to the management of flexible films.  To that end, we are seeking:

  • End-use applications for the recycled resin made from flexible films
  • Partners in the recycling, re-processing and manufacturing sectors in reasonable proximity to Minnesota to jointly explore market-based collaborations aimed at fostering a more circular economy for flexible films.

New Uses for Soybean Hulls

Soybean hulls represent an opportunity for someone who can utilize the various components of the soybean hull to create new higher value products by further processing them through the use of microbial or bacterial process, extraction technologies, etc. 

Expanding Profitable Wheat Production into Southern MN  

Develop a farm plan that quantifies and illustrates how wheat is profitable in Southern Minnesota in traditional Corn/Soybean rotations. 

Preserve Freshness of Frozen Foods 

Schwan’s is seeking technologies to preserve freshness of multi-component frozen food products.

Schwan's Company

Eliminate Microwave Susceptors

Schwan’s is seeking technologies to eliminate susceptors from frozen food products, such as microwaveable pizza.


New Opportunities for Juice Stock Strawberries

SunOpta is looking to valorize and commercialize one of our primary fruit byproduct streams, juice stock strawberries. We are seeking ideas for new applications and usage for juice stock strawberries.

Remote measurement of Carbon in soil

This challenge asks the question “How can we remotely measure this carbon capture to remove the human element and begin to create and further streamline this value chain?”


Last mile challenge – communicating our food footprint

This challenge is about addressing the opportunity presented in between the data input step by growers and the packaging and communication of this data to retailers and consumers in a way that is pertinent to them.