A challenge to all DNA innovators was announced as a new $50,000 DNA technology innovation contest was kicked off.

The contest, open to innovators, entrepreneurs, businesses and non-profits across the country and globe, offers $50,000 in cash and services to winning innovators and entrepreneurs whose solutions improve the use and reliability of DNA methods and research. Applications to the contest can be submitted now through February 20, 2018.

Leveraging Utah’s leading expertise in DNA technologies, the contest fosters innovations that will improve the use of DNA data in the fields of ancestral history, personal history and family health history. Managed by Grow Utah, a Utah based non-profit that promotes innovation to drive entrepreneurship and business growth, all innovators across the country are invited to step up and bring their best and brightest ideas.

Innovations may include those that improve the collection process of individual DNA, testing and processing of DNA, accuracy of DNA results, interpretation of DNA results, visualization of DNA data, cross collaboration with various DNA testing methodologies, interpretation of results, and which in general improve the overall usefulness and adoption of DNA based technologies and methodologies.

“Utah is recognized for its pioneering research in DNA and our on-going technology development in this field,” said T Craig Bott- CEO and President of Grow Utah. “The uses of DNA are exploding, particularly in ancestral research where genealogical brick walls are coming down because of new DNA discoveries.” He continued, “This and the added prospect of improving our own health through global family insights made possible by DNA are simply astounding. It just seems right that Utah should host such a contest.”

A key community partner and sponsor of the contest is RootsTech- Utah’s premier family history conference and trade show which will be hosted in Salt Lake City on February 28, 2018. Dedicated to promoting innovation in genealogical technologies, RootsTech will be the site of the DNA Innovation Contest judging and awards event. In addition, finalists and winners of the contest will exhibit at the Innovation Alley at RootsTech over the four days of the conference from February 28 through March 3.

“We believe in the value that innovators bring to the work of family history,” said Jen Allen, RootsTech Director. “Over 20,000 people attend RootsTech each year. And a highlight for them is to see the latest innovations that help this important work. DNA has taken our industry by storm offering the marvelous potential of establishing links across the generations and throughout the world. The DNA Innovation Contest continues our emphasis on fostering and showcasing the leading technologies that will impact our family history work in the coming years.”

Other contest sponsors include that state of Utah’s USTAR organization, the Sorenson Legacy Foundation, and BoomStartup.

The contest is the first of its kind dedicated solely to DNA technologies. “We are excited to challenge the DNA innovators and look forward to seeing their best ideas in this fast-paced emerging field of DNA,”

concluded Mr. Bott.

Selected finalists will present their innovations at a public event held at RootsTech on February 28. At the conclusion of that event, the winners will be announced and the prizes awarded. Entries do not need to be fully designed products or services. The contest is focused more on sound concepts, prototypes, and innovations that have the potential to make a difference.

For more information on the DNA Innovation Contest, and to apply, visit www.growutah.com/centrum/DNA.