DPI Grand Challenges



Due to COVID 19, the DPI Grand Challenge Program has been deferred for reactivation later in 2020. Keep up to date on our rescheduled challenges via GATE Facebook and LinkedIn.

What is the DPI Grand Challenge Program?

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is constantly searching for new and better ways to put our customers and stakeholders at the centre of everything we do—and we know this requires finding better ways to collaborate and solve problems. So, we are launching a 4 year Grand Challenge program to convene multi-disciplinary groups of collaborators to focus on the most pressing problems facing Australian food and agriculture.

We’ll be putting DPI’s own spin on the ‘Grand Challenge’ methodology pioneered by recognised global innovators in government and philanthropy like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the X Prize Foundation, among others.

How do the Challenges work?

DPI Grand Challenges have two elements :

- a face to face workshop wherebya mix of participants from start ups, producers, industry government and research are combined into multidisciplinary teams to look at a focus problem and develop preliminary solutions or products. All registrations are assessed based on a combination of interest, expertise, skills and experience.

- an online challenge which enables global participation over a longer period 6-8 weeks.

There will be 3-4 Grand Challenges run each calendar year. If you would like more information on upcoming Grand Challenges subscribe today.


We have an extensive list of partners who are looking for innovative solutions (including policy, services and/or products) to work with and grow. Participating on the day will give you direct access to policy experts, regulation deliverers, scientific researchers, start-up experts and others who will work with you test and build out your idea. You’ll then have the opportunity to pitch your idea to our range of investors, research organisations, incubation and acceleration programs to secure further hands on support to deliver your solution.

In addition, we have a number of exciting opportunities up for grabs for the right solutions. Including:

  • Up to 10 places in the GATE (Global Ag Tech Ecosystem) startup incubation program, valued at $20,000
  • Up to 20 places in the GATE startup four-week mentoring program, valued at $6,000

To keep up to date on the Challenges subscribe to the GATE Newsletter, Facebook or LInked in.

Who Can Apply

Solutions can come from anywhere and anyone. Entrepreneurs, researchers, engineers, academics and government employees.  We are inviting teams and individuals to register. To participate, a team may organise their own members, or recruit experts to join them. If you register as an individual we will help you to form a team with other individuals participants.

Terms and conditions apply to grand challenges for more information


The outcomes from the Challenge is a series of teams and projects that can be promoted through to the GATE or other ag tech support services. For our first online Grand Challenge on Food Traceability on 14-15 November 2019, nine teams participated. To read their proposals and consider interest in collaboration.

Team GC


Any Questions, please email our program manager.  We will get back to you as soon as possible