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.


Initial applications are due by October 31. Please apply here.

See the challenge rules for guidelines for submission.

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. Initial applications will be due by October 31. Up to 10 selected finalists will be asked to provide final submissions by November 24. Final presentations and announcement of winners will occur December 4 at the Institute on the Environment, St. Paul Campus, University of Minnesota.