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Past Challenges

Explore previous challenges and collaboration opportunities.

Novel solutions to enable intercropping practices for ag intensification

Corn Stalks and Interseeded Cover Crop

Improving sustainability in row cropping systems grown in monoculture and meeting the growing world demand for food, fuel and fiber requires a new paradigm guided by sustainable intensification practices. We believe innovative methods and technologies can have a positive impact on the adoption of multi-cropping systems and are specifically interested in collaborating to enable inter-seeding within those systems.

Novel solutions for fungal nucleic acid extraction


Corteva is looking for novel or dramatically improved existing methods for reproducible, scalable, and low-cost simultaneous extraction of nucleic acid from fungal pathogens and plant hosts. For this challenge we are working with Wazoku Crowd.

Detecting depletion of solid termite bait in subterranean bait stations


Corteva Agriscience is seeking novel ideas for detecting the depletion of solid termite baits without physically opening and visually inspecting the bait housed within the plastic station to improve the efficiency of monitoring deployed baits. For this challenge we are working with Wazoku Crowd.

Low-cost, in-field sensors for greenhouse gas emissions from soils

corn grown in field soil

As Corteva looks to support farmers who want to adopt practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions from soils, the ability to measure multiple greenhouse gases (GHG) accurately in an in-field, low-cost manner becomes vital.   Join us in our efforts by submitting proposals to develop and/or demonstrate low-cost, in-field sensors for greenhouse gas emissions from soil in agricultural settings.

Novel indirect assays for predictive crop performance

Novel assays_meredith-petrick-83RJnK0UbW4-unsplash_1440x1080.jpg

At Corteva, our goal is to develop effective, sustainable, and durable solutions to agricultural challenges. Driving genetic gain to help enable farmers to operate sustainably and profitably is core to delivering for our future. To aid in the discovery and evaluation of improved crop varieties, Corteva Agriscience invites public and private sector scientists to join our efforts by submitting a proposal describing a novel predictive assay for soybean production.


Pulse crops for agricultural diversity, intensification and sustainability


Corteva is seeking new pulse crops or innovative pulse cropping systems. The pulse could be included in any cropping system type (e.g. a proposal for a double, relay, intercropping, or annual rotational system). The ideal solution will provide supporting data demonstrating the feasibility of the approach. Proposals to breed a pulse crop to meet the Solution Requirements specified below are welcome.

Building blocks for sustainable small molecule crop protection solutions

Building Blocks Molecules

We’re interested in accessing diverse chemical space – unusual and underrepresented building blocks that can be incorporated into our molecules for the exploration of novel and more sustainable active ingredients for crop protection solutions. 

Genome editing for broad-spectrum disease resistance in crop plants

maize gray leaf spot

One part of our integrated approach to disease control involves applying CRISPR-Cas genome editing technologies to accelerate the development of disease resistant plants. As part of this effort and our commitment to building strong collaborations, Corteva invites scientists from both the public and private sectors to submit brief proposals for genome edits that have the potential to confer broad-spectrum disease resistance in three key crops - maize, soybean, and canola. 

Heterologous expression of natural products in fungal hosts

Petri plate with fungal colonies

We are looking to collaborate with the broader innovation community on heterologous expression platforms for natural products discovery by exploring the movement of biosynthetic gene clusters of various sizes covering a range of natural product chemospace in fungal (filamentous fungi and yeast) heterologous hosts.


Plant-derived insulator elements for predictable gene expression

Plant-derived insulator elements for predictable gene expression

The ability to effectively and efficiently improve crops through genetic engineering relies on finely tuned expression of integrated genes that is predictable in varying genetic backgrounds.  However, the structural organization of the eukaryotic genome is complex.  The expression of a gene is not only influenced by its associated regulatory elements but may also be affected by regulatory elements of nearby genes or by transcriptional interference between genes.  One strategy for improving the predictability of gene expression is to use insulator elements to shield gene expression from outside influence. 

Genome editing for crop improvement

Genome Editing for Crop Improvement

At Corteva Agriscience™, we are leaders in CRISPR-Cas research for agricultural products, especially for crops including maize, soybean, canola, wheat, and sorghum. Because we believe in the potential of CRISPR-Cas to improve crops, we are dedicated to enabling the broader research community and encouraging wide adoption of CRISPR-Cas in agriculture. By facilitating access to the technology, we intend to help solve some of the world’s biggest food security challenges. 

Non-destructive, in-field measurement of corn stalk integrity

Non-destructive, in-field measurement of corn stalk integrity (collaborating)

Every year stalk rot diseases and stalk boring insect infestations can result in serious damage to corn crops and significant yield losses. Current methods to evaluate resistance of corn varieties to stalk rots and borers require manual splitting of stalks and visually assessing or measuring the amount of internal stalk damage. These methods are not only labor and time intensive, but also can result in qualitative scoring and the destruction of valuable plant material. The ability to assess the internal integrity of corn stalks and the level of resistance to disease infection or insect damage in a rapid, non-destructive manner in the field would accelerate the generation of new resistant corn varieties.


Insect midgut epithelial cell culture systems

insect midgut epithelial cell culture systems

Cell cultures are used in many fields of biological research to look at cellular responses to external inputs. They can serve as a predictor of responses by the whole organisms from which they were derived.  In the field of entomology, several types of cell-based assays have been used successfully to characterize cellular responses.  In many of the described cases, the cell-based assays utilized recombinant techniques within cell lines to recreate the physiological target of an input. Alternatively, cell lines derived from non-midgut tissue that happened to be naturally susceptible to an insecticidal protein were used.

Innovation for disease resistance

Innovation for Disease Resistance

Each year, plant diseases cause an estimated 40% yield loss worldwide in the most important food crops.  Our goal at Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont is to develop robust, sustainable and durable solutions to crop disease problems. Our strategy relies on an integrated approach to disease control:  stacking native disease traits with transgenic traits; applying CRISPR-Cas genome editing technologies to accelerate development of resistant plant lines; combining genetic solutions with chemical and/or biological products for comprehensive control.  We invite public and private sector scientists to join in our efforts with innovative approaches that will help tackle and find solutions to the most important global crop diseases.


Enhancing genome editing using repair templates

Enhancing Genome Editing Using Repair Templates

We are interested in developing partnerships with outstanding academic scientists to pursue advancements in template-based CRISPR-Cas genome editing. Homology directed repair (HDR) approaches enable defined sequence changes and insertions by utilizing donor templates to instruct cellular repair of a CRISPR-Cas induced break of genomic DNA. Achieving HDR in plants requires generating and screening hundreds of plants with success rates varying among experiments. To help realize the potential of genome editing we recognize the need to support innovation with monetary grants, access to leading-edge technologies, and knowledgeable collaborators.

Natural products or natural product-derived small molecules


Corteva AgriscienceTM is seeking pure natural products and semi-synthetic natural products for pest control. Material supply of compounds which are natural products or natural-product derived small molecules is desired. Crude extracts and mixtures are not requested for this Challenge.

Methods for determining similar sequences across genomes


Individuals of a species differ from one another at the genetic level to varying degrees. These differences represent different genotypes or genetic constitutions within a species. To better understand the genetic content of each individual genome, it is important to understand similarities and differences of gene sequences and their sub-components when compared across genomes.  Corteva Agriscience is seeking a methodology to accurately identify similar gene sequences across genomes from individuals of a single species.


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If you or your organization have an idea in one of our interest areas, we want to hear from you.

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