Nitrogen Reduction Grand Challenge offers $1 million prize

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Beyond its Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Tulane is looking to have a larger impact with its Nitrogen Reduction Grand Challenge, which challenges teams to alleviate hypoxia, an oxygen deficiency in water created from excessive nutrient enrichment.

Tulane board member and philanthropist Phyllis Taylor, after whom the Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking at Tulane is named, is offering $1 million dollars to the team to create the winning “technical, market-based” solution to reduce nitrogen levels in the water that cause hypoxia.

36 original teams applied to partake in the Grand Challenge. Only 15 teams were invited to the technical submission phase where deeper details, including a 20-page fact sheet, were required about the implementation of their solutions. The top five teams will travel to northeastern Louisiana to implement their solutions on a plot of farming land.

Once the contest has been narrowed to two teams, they will be provided larger tracts of land to run their final tests before a winner is selected.

“I don’t know [what to expect from the teams], and that’s what I think is so exciting,” Grand Challenge Project Manager Leah Berger Jensen said. “The sky is the limit.”

Read more about the Nitrogen Reduction Grand Challenge in Tulane’s Hullabaloo: The Hullabaloo