Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award (SISCA)

SISCA 2013 Award Winners. Credit: Nancy Johnson, ME Department

2013 winners Chen Zhang & Ke Li with Professor Zongxuan Sun and their Free Piston Engine Hydraulic Pump
Credit: Nancy Johnson, ME Department

Graduate students: Are you up for a challenge? The Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award (SISCA), a program of IonE and the Dow Chemical Company, recognizes and rewards students and universities for innovation and research that encourages and promotes sustainable solutions to the world’s most pressing social, economic and environmental problems.

Submission Criteria

A winning submission must

  • exhibit potential for solving world challenges in alignment with the spirit of Dow’s 2015 Sustainability Goals
  • be interdisciplinary (applied sciences, engineering, economics, public policy, social studies, business etc.)
  • involve innovative thinking and excellence in research

Award Details

Awards include a $10,000 grand prize and a $2,500 runner-up prize.


For more information contact Fred Rose ( or visit the challenge website.


Dow launched SISCA in 2009 to promote forward thinking in social and environmental responsibility. See the most recent University of Minnesota results.


In order to ensure a more sustainable future, it’s essential we promote and cultivate fresh ideas, innovative thinking and sustainable practices that balance environmental, societal and economic decisions. SISCA advances sustainable development, helping further our commitment to create positive change for tomorrow.


SISCA acknowledges the energy, commitment and enthusiasm of University of Minnesota students and the professors, sponsors and facilitators who support their sustainability innovations and efforts in continued excellence. Applicants must be enrolled graduate students at the University of Minnesota. Former SISCA winners are not eligible to participate.


SISCA is an annual competition that begins in the fall term.