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Info meeting set for student corn, soybean innovation contests

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University students from all majors are invited to an informational meeting on Sept. 15 to learn more about participating in the Student Soybean and Corn Product Innovation Competitions.


The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in Wetherill Laboratory of Chemistry, Room 200.

The two contests – which are separate, but run simultaneously – give students an opportunity to conceptualize a novel product idea; complete patent searches and literature reviews on current products; do market research reports; develop a budget; and create, package and market the product. The winning team from each competition will be awarded a $20,000 cash prize.

“These competitions give students real-world innovation experience and teach them how to take a product from concept to completion – all skills that will benefit them as they go out into the workplace,” said Katharine Woodhead, competition project coordinator. “Many of the most successful teams have been the ones made up of students from different majors and backgrounds because their multitudes of experience aid in the different aspects of the competition.”

Each team needs two faculty advisers – one technical and one non-technical – so professors and lecturers also are invited to the informational meeting.

“We need professors to step up to the challenge of advising teams,” Woodhead said. “It’s an extremely rewarding experience to help the students succeed in these competitions.”

In addition to the $20,000 cash prize for the winning team in each competition, teams may have an opportunity to network with large companies, some of which may be interested in commercializing the products. If a company is interested in commercializing a team’s product, Purdue will help with the patent process. If the company does buy the product rights, the students can receive a portion of the product’s sales royalties.

The Soybean Innovation Competition is sponsored by the Indiana Soybean Alliance. The Corn Product Innovation Competition is sponsored by the Indiana Corn Marketing Council. All supplies and lab fees are covered, so students’ only cost is energy and creativity.

For more information, visit the Student Soybean and Corn Product Innovation Competitions group on Facebook at, or contact Woodhead at 765-496-3837,

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 October 2020