Nectar’s mission is to transition the human race towards a sustainable food system. This mission is important because agriculture is the foundation of our civilization and produces everything essential to human survival including our food, clothes, and medicine. But, agriculture is a unique industry that contributes to climate change while simultaneously being affected by it. Agriculture is also directly responsible for hunger and poverty and is the main driver of non-communicable disease. Nectar wants to reinvent the food system to reverse climate change, create worldwide economic prosperity, and eliminate non-communicable disease. Critical to achieving that is an intelligent food production system that outperforms traditional field farming.


The Nectar Sustainable Food System Prize is a competition for college and university students that challenges them to demonstrate an intelligent food production system using aquaponics. This prize will focus on creating advanced sensing and control systems that enables a farmer to grow any crop anywhere in the world at any time. The solutions will contribute to the enrichment of tools and data that our farmers desperately need to minimize their environmental impact, start using aquaponics quickly, and cost-effectively scale their operation. Teams of college and university students in the United States will compete to win up to $25,000.


To compete in the Nectar Sustainable Food System Prize, teams must register by May 22nd, sign the Competitor’s Agreement, and pay a registration fee of $250. Teams that do not register by the deadline are eligible to apply for 10 wild-card spots. To apply for a wild-card spot, teams must register by June 19th, sign the Competitor’s Agreement, and pay a registration fee of $350.


Grand Prize

The $10,000 grand prize will be awarded at the end of competition.

Special Prizes

The top three finalists will be eligible to earn up to three special prizes, each worth $5,000, in recognition of accomplishing stretch goals.


April 24
Registration Opens

May 22
Registration Deadline

June 5

Wild-Card Registration Opens

June 19
Wild Card Registration Deadline

August 7 – 11
Phase I Demonstrations

August 14
Announcement of Top 10 Teams

October 2 – 6
Phase II Demonstrations

October 9
Announcement of Top 3 Teams

November 6 – 10
Live Demonstration

November 15
Award and Announcement of Prize Winners

Registration Opens April 24th