Race Towards Agri-Sustainability

Confronting the dual challenges of climate change and food security, the 3rd GPCA Innovation Competition: Race towards Agri-Sustainability, taking place at the 14th GPCA Agri-Nutrients Conference from 10-12 September 2024 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia serves as a vital platform for pioneering sustainable practices from agri-nutrients production till solutions for end users. With climate change, water scarcity, and biodiversity loss threatening our global ecosystem, innovative agricultural solutions are not just beneficial but essential.

This competition aims to bridge the gap between industry and academia, stimulating applied research and innovation in agri-nutrients to support a food-secure and climate-resilient planet. Through the initiative, GPCA offers university students from the region a valuable opportunity to gain exposure to the global chemical industry.

Previous competition highlights



Bringing the chemical industry and academia closer

The competition aims to bridge the gap between the chemical industry and academia, providing a unique opportunity for senior undergraduates and postgraduate students from STEM fields to connect with professionals and experts in the industry.

Contribute to agricultural sustainability

The GPCA Innovation Competition with its 4 challenges, covers the entire value chain of the agri-nutrients industry. By submitting innovative ideas and solutions, participants can actively contribute to the transition towards food security and climate resilience.

Recognition and exposure

The competition not only offers recognition for participants’ ideas but also provides exposure within the chemical industry. Gain visibility and recognition from industry professionals, potentially opening doors to future opportunities and collaborations.

Learn from experts

Participating in the GPCA Innovation Competition gives participants an access to industry experts and professionals. Through interactions, mentorship, and feedback, participants can enhance their knowledge, skills, and understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with achieving agri-sustainability.

Why participate?

Showcase your idea/ project and yourself in front of leading industry leaders.

Promote your university as a leading chemical research institute within the GCC.

Become part of a larger community dedicated to driving food security and climate-resistance.

GPCA Innovation Competition categories

The 3rd  GPCA Innovation Competition has been expanded to include two categories under chemical engineering, chemistry, and other related STEM fields in the GCC.

The first category represents undergraduate students who are currently pursuing their degree in STEM fields or have graduated no earlier than 31 May 2023. The second category is for the postgraduate students who are currently pursuing their M.Sc. or PhD degree or have recently graduated no earlier than 31 May 2023. Students from all universities, vocational and research institutes in the Arabian Gulf offering the above degrees are eligible to participate in this competition.

In order to participate in the competition, the candidates must present a solution to any one of the following challenges:


Circular Economy in Agriculture

This competition category invites innovative solutions for the reuse and recycling of agricultural waste and by-products. Participants are encouraged to present ideas that transform these materials into valuable resources such as bioenergy, compost, or biodegradable materials. The goal is to promote sustainable practices that enhance resource efficiency and reduce environmental impact within the agricultural sector.

Soil Health

This competition category seeks innovative techniques and practices aimed at enhancing soil fertility, promoting biodiversity, and preventing land degradation. Participants should propose solutions that improve soil health and sustainability, ensuring long-term productivity and ecological balance. The focus is on sustainable practices that foster a resilient agricultural ecosystem.

Sustainable Resource Management

This competition category focuses on innovative approaches to conserving water, preserving soil, reducing emissions, and using agri-nutrients sustainably. Participants are encouraged to present solutions that enhance resource efficiency and sustainability in agriculture, addressing critical issues like water scarcity, soil degradation, and greenhouse gas emissions. The aim is to promote practices that support a resilient and sustainable agricultural system.

Innovation and Emission Reduction in Agri-Nutrients Production

This competition category invites groundbreaking innovations aimed at reducing emissions in the production of agri-nutrients. Participants should propose innovative solutions that enhance production efficiency, lower environmental impact, and promote sustainable practices within the industry. The goal is to drive advancements that contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable agri-nutrient production process.

Key dates:

31 July 2024

Deadline for submission

15 Aug 2024

Announcement for shortlisted candidates

10-11 Sep 2024

Presentation and selection of final winners

GPCA Innovation Competition submission and scoring criteria:

One Page abstract (500-600 words) summarizing their projects objectives and highlighting key outcome for one of the challenges above in the eligible category.

  1. Context:
    • Level of understanding of the context related to the market landscape of the selected topic area
    • Clarity in defining the specific problem, how to address the solution and challenge area to be addressed through the abstract
  2. Impact:
    • Quality of analysis and assumptions supporting measurable impact on the selected focus area or sustainability
    • Degree / significance of potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to agri-sustainability
    • Validation of impact through project simulation to verify the positive impact on the agri-nutrients industry
  1. Innovation:
    • Level of innovation, creativity, and original thinking in the abstract
    • Degree of utilization of new or emerging technologies
    • Application of existing technologies in a novel way
  1. Feasibility:
    • Identification of implementation risks and mitigation measures, and pre-requisites to support roll out
    • Feasibility of adoption, ability to scale and replicate the proposed solution across industry
    • Clearly defined implementation plan, timeline, and high-level budget

If shortlisted, participants will be sponsored to travel to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from 10-12 September 2024 to present (up to 10 slides) their methodology, challenges and outcomes to a jury.

Prizes for the winning entry:

  1. AED 15,000 for first place and AED 10,000 for second place under the post-graduate category
  2. . AED 10,000 for first place and AED 7,000 for second place under the undergraduate category
  3. Get featured in our media and social media campaigns