Skip to main content

Syngenta US News

2021 Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics prize committee named

Panel of distinguished industry experts and university researchers will judge international data competition that seeks to improve crop breeding processes 

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill., Dec. 16, 2020 – Syngenta Seeds and the Analytics Society of INFORMS have announced the prize committee for the 2021 Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics, a competition in which students and professionals in the fields of statistics, data analytics and mathematics develop data-driven models to address some of the most pressing issues in agriculture.

The Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics is a collaborative effort between Syngenta and the Analytics Society of INFORMS. The competition aims to spark cross-industry collaboration that is necessary to address the complex problems facing farmers as they strive to feed a growing population with limited resources. For the 2021 challenge, entrants are asked to develop analytical approaches to optimize year-round corn hybrid breeding processes.

The 2021 Syngenta Crop Challenge prize committee judges are:
  • Committee Chair, Durai Sundaramoorthi, Senior Lecturer, Washington University 
  • Saurabh Bansal, Associate Professor, Smeal College of Business, Pennsylvania State University
  • Gregory Doonan, Head of Advanced Analytics, Syngenta Seeds
  • Esma Gel, Associate Professor, Arizona State University
  • Ingmar Steinzen, Manager Director and CEO, OPTANO
  • Yong Bao, Sr. Data Scientist, Land O’Lakes
“We are honored to have such an esteemed group of professionals dedicating their time and expertise to make the Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics a success,” said Sundaramoorthi, area coordinator and senior lecturer of data analytics at Olin Business School, Washington University in St. Louis. “Our goal as a committee is to help inspire a new group of data scientists to tackle the complex issues facing global food production.”

Entries to the Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics must be submitted by Jan. 20, 2021. The prize committee will evaluate submissions based on quantitative metrics as well as the simplicity and intuitiveness of the solution, and clarity in the explanation. The finalists will be announced in March 2021 and invited to present in front of the judging panel during the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research in April 2021. Winners will be announced during the conference with first place receiving $5,000; the runner-up receiving $2,500; and third place receiving $1,000.

“Syngenta Seeds is committed to accelerating innovation so that we can help growers feed a rapidly growing population while using fewer resources,” said Gregory Doonan, Crop Challenge judge and head of advanced analytics, Syngenta Seeds. “The Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics embodies that commitment. It presents a unique and valuable opportunity for us to connect a new generation of scientists and cross-industry experts with the important work of helping growers produce more food.” 

Established in 2015, the Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics is now in its sixth consecutive year. It was initially funded by prize winnings donated by Syngenta Seeds 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, deliverables and frequently asked questions, visit For more information about 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 Twitter at and

With more than 12,000 members from around the world, INFORMS is the largest international association of operations research (O.R.) and analytics professionals and students. INFORMS provides unique networking and learning opportunities for individuals and organizations to better understand and use O.R. and analytics tools and methods to save lives, save money, and solve problems. 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.

Syngenta Media Contacts:    
Jason Sparks 

Heather Manhardt 

INFORMS Media Contact:
Ashley Smith

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. 2001 Butterfield Road, 16th Floor, Downers Grove, IL 60515. 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.