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Prize to boost soybean meal value

The United Soybean Board and the Yield Lab Institute launches the Soy Innovation Challenge to increase the use and value of soybean meal.

October 26, 2022

Aimed to foster innovations that further markets for US soybean farmers, the United Soybean Board (USB) and the Yield Lab Institute (YLI) challenge companies to create innovations that increase the use and value of soybean meal in existing markets through the Soy Innovation Challenge.

The Soy Innovation Challenge aims to increase the use, value, and commercial viability of soybean meal for both food and feed consumption, overcome the technical challenges of increasing soybean meal usage, and advance in the transportability and storage viability of soybean meal.

The challenge is sponsored by USB and Amazon Web Services (AWS). The selected teams will compete for a USD 170,000 prize from USB and USD 5,000 in in-kind technical services and credits per finalist from AWS. All selected teams will receive mentoring and resources to help advance their ideas in the areas of technical, business, and financial impact.

The online application is open from October 25 to December 20 for startups, research teams, and entities that operate in the soybean meal value chain that have an innovative solution that can enhance known uses and markets of soybean meal. Find more information here.

“Soybean oil demand is increasing as a feedstock for renewable energy, creating unique opportunities for soybean farmers. But an increase in the expanded crush for oil means a higher meal supply. With US soybean meal’s strong reputation as a high-value product, additional pathways are necessary to advance consumption both domestically and internationally,” said Ralph Lott, USB chair and farmer.

“With clear sustainability differentiators, such as soil health and land stewardship, this competition has the potential to create unique revenue streams for U.S. soybean farmers in meeting customers’ evolving preferences,” said Mac Marshall, USB vice president of market intelligence. “Sustainability is the future of our industry, and these innovations will enhance the profit opportunities for our farmers.”

“With a favorable market for soy, an increased interest in enhancing the existing value of soybean meal is often forgotten in the equation. This innovation challenge will uncover ideas and technologies that will drive more value for soybean meal and its constituents within existing markets and uses. This is truly an exercise in circular economy and optimizing the bean,” said Brandon Day, COO of YLI.