Phase I - Global Big Ideas Competition

Dear Innovators and Thinkers,


I hope this message finds you all thriving and brimming with curiosity. As participants of the 2024 Science-i Big Ideas Competition, your enthusiasm and innovative proposals have not only reached us but have truly inspired the entire organizing team. We’re writing to share some exciting updates and the next steps in our journey together.


Firstly, we’re thrilled to announce that the response to the competition has been nothing short of phenomenal. We’ve received a diverse array of groundbreaking ideas from 24 brilliant minds spanning 15 countries. Your contributions highlight the vast potential for ecological and socioeconomic advancements, and some proposals even hold promise for high-impact scientific publications.


To ensure these visionary ideas receive the attention and scrutiny they deserve, we’ve enlisted the help of esteemed Science-i advisors and colleagues from various fields. These experts will be instrumental in evaluating your submissions, bringing us closer to selecting the standout finalists. Those chosen will be invited to the much-anticipated 2024 Science-i Bridging World Workshop, where we’ll delve into how these big ideas can be transformed into tangible scientific breakthroughs.


We understand the anticipation and excitement that comes with such an opportunity, and we want to assure you that every proposal will be given thoughtful consideration. The diversity and depth of your submissions are a testament to the collective creativity and commitment to advancing global forest research.


Please visit for updates and developments, including details on the evaluation process and timelines. Your patience and continued passion for science and innovation are what make this competition truly special.



Thank you once again for your bold ideas and for being an integral part of this global endeavor to push the boundaries of science. We’re excited about the journey ahead and the potential to make lasting impacts together.

The 2024 Science-i Big Ideas Competition Organizing Team



ZetaForests: Unravelling global forests turnover and co-occurrenceMacFadyen, SandraSouth Africa
Importance of topography for tree species habitat distributions in a tropical lowland rainforest of New GuineaHayden Samson WagiaPapua New Guinea
Forest Phenology: Interplay of human and AIUmeogu, Chidimma ChisomNigeria
How do mycorrhizal strategies influence temporal changes of global forest productivity?Luo, ShanGermany
Development of Global Forest Health Monitoring and Management Platform (GFHMMP)Khan, Mohammed LatifIndia
Multiple disturbances impact on West African tree species abondanceZo-Bi, Irie, C.Côte d’Ivoire
Analyzing Decades of Amazon Region Deforestation in Relation to Global Warming TrendsAlvarez, Cesar, IvanEcuador
Biodiversity potential and current status of the forest land in IndiaAjay SinghIndia
Implications of converting exotic plantations back to native afromontane forests in KenyaKigomo John NgugiKenya
Identifying the Largest Trees in Each Biome Using Quantum ComputingVivian SattlerGermany
Phylogenetic diversity-productivity relationships at the global scaleHuang, ErhanChina
Compare the carbon storage of urban forests with natural forestsHe, ChenqiChina
Prioritizing Forest Cover Restoration Opportunities in West Africa: Strategies for Natural Regeneration, Agroforestry, and PlantationAmani Bienvenu Hippolyte KonanCôte d’Ivoire
Tracking changes on forests to evaluate rural and civil developmentsNava-Miranda María GuadalupeMexico
Improving estimation of belowground tree biomass across temperate and tropical vegetation typesMensah, SylvanusBenin
Connecting Upper Guinea Flora Biodiversity data to PolicySainge Moses N.Cameroon
Carbon Assessment and Measurement of Forests Using Big Data and Machine LearningPrudhvi Chowdary ChirumamillaIndia
Adapting Trees: Ecological Strategies in a Changing ClimateRosa, Gabriel Y.Brazil
Harpia Project: aerial photos for tropical tree species IDSilva Daniel AugustoBrazil
Eco-Sacred: Geospatial Exploration of World’s Sacred ForestsVazeed Pasha ShaikIndia
Climate-Resilient Tree Species Selection for Ecological Restoration in the Global South (CRTS-R)Verma, SatyamIndia
Safeguarding high integrity tropical forests using translational scienceVilanova, Emilio, J.Venezuela
Impact of Climate Change on Vegetation and Biomass Dynamics in Tropical ForestsWekesa ChemukuKenya
Automating Large-Scale Site-Specific Solar Resource MapsZhang, YaguangUSA



  • Deadline for submitting the Big Idea:  Friday, February 23th, 2024
  • February 24th-29th: All submissions will be evaluated and scored
  • March 1st-4th: Announcement of the Winners
  • May 6th-7th: Winners will attend the Science-i: Bridging Worlds Workshop
  • May 2024-May 2026: Winners will be supported by Science-i to turn their ideas into tangible research discoveries.



  • Science-i Board of Advisors, which is comprised of renowned scientists and community leaders, will jointly evaluate all Big Ideas entries.
  • The evaluation will be based on:
    • Scientific merits, including innovation, feasibility, potential for impact, and interdisciplinary collaboration
    • Alignment with the missions and resources of Science-i. 


Intellectual Property

Unless specified otherwise by the participant, all proposals submitted to this competition will be made publicly available in a repository. The overall list will be assigned a Digital Object Identifier (DOI).

Workshop Sponsors:

  • National Science Foundation (award# 2311762),

  • Purdue Rosen Center for Advanced Computing,

  • Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources,

  • Purdue Institute for a Sustainable Future,

  • Science-i