Now in its third year, the competition—which is hosted by the Analytics Society of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), aims to address the challenge of achieving global food security by fostering cross-industry collaboration between agriculture and advanced analytics experts.
Challenge participants were given a real-world dataset and asked to develop models that predict how well corn hybrids will perform in untested locations. These predictive models can help plant breeders decide which hybrids to advance and ultimately offer to growers.
“In selecting the finalists for this competition, we looked at the rigor, clarity and innovation of the submissions we received,” said Nicolas Martin, assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Crop Challenge prize committee chair and member of INFORMS. “This distinguished class of finalists submitted models that are both creative and sophisticated. We recognize and appreciate the time and thought that went into crafting the entries.”
The 2018 Syngenta Crop Challenge finalists, as selected by an INFORMS panel of experts representing diverse technical backgrounds, are:
- A simple way to predict crop yields, using Multiple Factor Analysis, Random Forests and spatio-temporal weather monthly forecast - Jacques Ehret and Patrick Vetter, Supper & Supper GmbH, Berlin, Germany
- Bridging concepts from Bayesian theory, Artificial Intelligence and Genetics: A novel Bayesian Network methodology for predictions and decision-making - Jhonathan Pedroso Rigal dos Santos, São Paulo, Brazil
- Genotype - Environment Interaction (G by E) Analysis using Deep Neural Networks Approach - Saeed Khaki, Hans Mueller and Lizhi Wang, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, U.S.
- Speeding up maize hybrid breeding schemes using machine learning - Andres Aguilar, Sylvain Delerce, Michael Caraccio Lausanne, Juan Camilo Rivera, Maria Camila Gomez, Steven Humberto Sotelo and Anestis Gkanogiannis, CIAT, Palmira, Colombia
- Using Deep Learning to predict maize performance - Rodrigo Gonçalves Trevisan, Jackeline Pedriana Borba and Júlia Silva Morosini, Piracicaba, Brazil
The finalists have been invited to present their submissions during the 2018 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research in Baltimore, Maryland. They will be evaluated on the quality and clarity of their presentations, and the results will be announced on April 17, 2018. The winner will be awarded $5,000; the runner up will receive $2,500; and the third place entry will receive $1,000.
“In order to meet the needs of a growing world population, the agriculture industry will need to use a variety of tools successfully and look to several disciplines for innovation,” said Gregory Doonan, Crop Challenge judge and head of novel algorithm advancement, Syngenta. “That is why I am so excited about the Syngenta Crop Challenge. Our partnership with INFORMS allows us to reach data analytics experts to raise awareness and help us confront the challenge of global food security.”
The Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics was established in 2015 with funding provided by prize winnings awarded to Syngenta in connection with its receipt of the 2015 Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences. The challenge aligns with Syngenta’s commitment to make crops more efficient – one of the tenets of The Good Growth Plan, a global initiative to improve the sustainability of agriculture.
For more information about the Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics, visit www.ideaconnection.com/syngenta-crop-challenge. Join the conversation online – connect with Syngenta at social.syngentaUS.com.
Syngenta is a leading agriculture company helping to improve global food security by enabling millions of farmers to make better use of available resources. Through world class science and innovative crop solutions, our 27,500 people in over 90 countries are working to transform how crops are grown. We are committed to rescuing land from degradation, enhancing biodiversity and revitalizing rural communities. To learn more, visit www.syngenta.com and www.goodgrowthplan.com. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Syngenta and www.twitter.com/SyngentaUS.
With 12,500 members from nearly 90 countries, INFORMS is the largest international association of operations research (O.R.) and analytics professionals and students. INFORMS provides unique networking and learning opportunities for individual professionals, and organizations of all types and sizes, to better understand and use O.R. and analytics tools and methods to transform strategic visions and achieve better outcomes.
The INFORMS Analytics Society, a subdivision of INFORMS, 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.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This document contains forward-looking statements, which can be identified by terminology such as ‘expect,’ ‘would,’ ‘will,’ ‘potential,’ ‘plans,’ ‘prospects,’ ‘estimated,’ ‘aiming,’ ‘on track’ and similar expressions. Such statements may be subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially from these statements. For Syngenta, such risks and uncertainties include risks relating to legal proceedings, regulatory approvals, new product development, increasing competition, customer credit risk, general economic and market conditions, compliance and remediation, intellectual property rights, implementation of organizational changes, impairment of intangible assets, consumer perceptions of genetically modified crops and organisms or crop protection chemicals, climatic variations, fluctuations in exchange rates and/or commodity prices, single source supply arrangements, political uncertainty, natural disasters, and breaches of data security or other disruptions of information technology. Syngenta assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual results, changed assumptions or other factors.
©2018 Syngenta. 9 Davis Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709. The Syngenta logo is a registered trademark of a Syngenta Group Company. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Syngenta supports but is not a sponsor of this INFORMS challenge. Entrants must read and agree to terms and conditions of the challenge, found with the registration materials.