Skip to main content

Syngenta US News

2020 Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics prize committee announced

Panel of esteemed industry experts and university researchers to judge international competition focused on addressing challenges in agriculture

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., Jan. 2, 2020 – Syngenta and the Analytics Society of INFORMS have selected the prize committee for the 2020 Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics, a competition in which entrants develop data-driven models to address various challenges inherent in agriculture.

Now in its fifth consecutive year, the Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics is a collaborative effort between Syngenta and the Analytics Society of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). In the 2020 challenge, entrants are tasked with developing data-driven methodologies that can help predict the performance of potential corn seed products.

Judges for the 2020 Syngenta Crop Challenge prize committee are:

  • Committee Chair: Durai Sundaramoorthi, Senior Lecturer, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Saurabh Bansal, Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management, Smeal College of Business, Pennsylvania State University
  • Gregory Doonan, Head of Advanced Analytics, Syngenta
  • Yujin Lee, Data Scientist, Schnuck Markets, Inc.
  • ChuanRen Liu, Assistant Professor, Haslam College of Business, University of Tennessee-Knoxville
  • Venkata Pilla, Manager, Operations Research and Advanced Analytics, American Airlines
  • Ian Sherman, Manager of Data Science, Land O’Lakes

“We are fortunate to have enlisted a prize committee that brings as much institutional knowledge and industry experience as these experts do,” said Durai Sundaramoorthi, area coordinator and senior lecturer of data analytics at Olin Business School, Washington University in St. Louis, and Crop Challenge prize committee chair. “In addition to lending their expertise in data analytics and generously volunteering their time, these judges are helping cultivate a growing crop of data scientists.”

​​​​​​​The prize committee will evaluate entries following the Jan. 21, 2020, submission deadline, and finalists will be announced in March 2020. All finalists will be invited to present in front of the judging panel during the 2020 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research, April 26-28, 2020, in Denver. Winners will be announced during the conference. The first-place winner will receive $5,000; the runner-up will be awarded $2,500; and the third-place winner will receive $1,000.

“At Syngenta, we are committed to accelerating innovation to address growers’ challenges, and the Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics is a great example of how we are applying the power of data analytics to breed better seeds that require fewer resources and are adaptable to more diverse environments,” said Gregory Doonan, Crop Challenge judge and head of advanced analytics, Syngenta. “Additionally, this challenge aims to bring awareness to the complex needs facing agriculture – and how data analytics is driving agricultural productivity.”

Established in 2015, the Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics is supported by Syngenta and hosted by the Analytics Society of INFORMS. It was initially funded by prize winnings donated by Syngenta in connection with the company’s 2015 win of the Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences, an international award that recognizes excellence in the industry.

For more information about the Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics, including eligibility criteria and deliverables, visit For more information about the judges comprising the prize committee, visit

About Syngenta
Syngenta is one of the world’s leading agriculture companies. Our ambition is to help safely feed the world while taking care of the planet. We aim to improve the sustainability, quality and safety of agriculture with world class science and innovative crop solutions. Our technologies enable millions of farmers around the world to make better use of limited agricultural resources. With 28,000 people in more than 90 countries we are working to transform how crops are grown. Through partnerships, collaboration and The Good Growth Plan we are committed to improving farm productivity, rescuing land from degradation, enhancing biodiversity and revitalizing rural communities. To learn more visit and Follow us on X at and

With 12,500 members from nearly 90 countries, INFORMS is the largest international association of operations research (O.R.) and analytics professionals and students. INFORMS provides unique networking and learning opportunities for individual professionals, and for organizations of all types and sizes, to better understand and use O.R. and analytics tools and methods to transform strategic visions and achieve better outcomes.

The INFORMS Analytics Society, a community of INFORMS, promotes the integration of a wide range of analytical techniques and supports activities that illuminate significant innovations and achievement in the growing field of analytics.

Media Contacts:
Chris Tutino

Karyn Ostrom

INFORMS media contact:
Ashley Kilgore

Web Resources:
Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics
Know More, Grow More
Syngenta Newsroom
Syngenta U.S.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This document may contain forward-looking statements, which can be identified by terminology such as ‘expect’, ‘would’, ‘will’, ‘potential’, ‘plans’, ‘prospects’, ‘estimated’, ‘aiming’, ‘on track’ and similar expressions. Such statements may be subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially from these statements. For Syngenta, such risks and uncertainties include risks relating to legal proceedings, regulatory approvals, new product development, increasing competition, customer credit risk, general economic and market conditions, compliance and remediation, intellectual property rights, implementation of organizational changes, impairment of intangible assets, consumer perceptions of genetically modified crops and organisms or crop protection chemicals, climatic variations, fluctuations in exchange rates and/or commodity prices, single source supply arrangements, political uncertainty, natural disasters, and breaches of data security or other disruptions of information technology. Syngenta assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual results, changed assumptions or other factors.

©2020 Syngenta. 9 Davis Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709. The Syngenta logo is a registered trademark of a Syngenta Group Company. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Syngenta supports but is not a sponsor of this INFORMS challenge. Entrants must read and agree to terms and conditions of the challenge, found with the registration materials.