Microsoft Launches “Innovation Challenge” around Food Resilience

WASHINGTON, July 27, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture is partnering with Microsoft to launch the “Innovation Challenge,” a competition to develop software applications that help farmers, agriculture businesses, and consumers explore how climate change will affect their food systems.

The Innovation Challenge was formally launched on July 27th at a conference of the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association in San Francisco. Challenge participants have 3 months to create their applications, with a top prize of $25,000 going to the most creative application that best exploits USDA data sets that are now being hosted on Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform.

Entrants are invited to develop and publish new applications and tools that can help users analyze multiple sources of information, including key USDA data sets. In addition, Microsoft is granting cloud computing awards to aid university researchers and students that are looking to take part in the challenge.  Challenge winners will be announced in December 2015.

Full details of the challenge can be found at >http://usdaapps.challengepost.com<.

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