The judging panel will evaluate your solution at four assessment points
To qualify for the final prizes, participating innovators must develop a growing solution that meets all of the criteria set out in the Challenge statement by the final deadline (late 2027).
There are four assessment points throughout the Challenge where a panel of independent experts will evaluate your solution. This is also an opportunity for you to receive feedback.
Assessment 1: Select Spark Awardees (applications due May 3, 2022, teams notified in July 2022)
The judging panel currently reviewed Spark Award applications and will selected 15 innovators to receive as much as $50,000 to support development of their concept, formation of a team, completion of their full application, etc. Successful applicants were notified of their grants in early July 2022.
Assessment 2: Select Shepherd Phase innovators (applications due January 5, 2023, teams to be notified end of April, 2023)
The judging panel will review applications submitted to the Challenge and interview teams in order to select up to 10 innovation teams to progress through to the Shepherd Phase.
Assessment 3: Select Scaling Phase innovators (early October 2024 - end of December 2024)
The judging panel will review evidence submitted by innovation teams to support their proof of concept, interview teams and select up to 4 teams to progress through to the Scaling Phase.
Assessment 4: Select winners (early January 2028 - end of March 2028)
The judging panel will review evidence submitted by innovation teams to support the demonstration of their system at farm scale, interview teams and select 1-2 teams as winners.
The Homegrown Innovation Challenge final prize is split into two components:
In both cases, teams must have successfully achieved all aspects of the Challenge statement and scored the minimum passing mark against all judging criteria to be eligible for the final prizes.
Both components may be awarded to a single team if it scores highest on both.