The ‘Ōhiʻa Challenge: Detect Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death before it kills & spreads

A $70,000 Prize to Save Hawaii’s Forests from an Invasive Fungal Pathogen

Named after a Hawaiian legend that tells of the love and separation of the young couple ʻŌhiʻa and Lehua, the ‘Ōhiʻa tree carries immense ecological and cultural significance in Hawai’i.  Since 2014, an invasive fungal pathogen called Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death (ROD) has decimated Hawaiian forests.  Conservation X Labs, the U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Native Hawaiian Relations, and the National Park Service are partnering on The ‘Ōhiʻa Challenge to identify advanced technological solutions to ROD.  The Challenge is open until April 8, 2019, 11:59 PM HST.  Applications will be accepted via

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Have a great idea? It’s simple to apply to the challenge. Here is what you need to do.

  1. Create an account on All applications MUST be submitted through the portal.

  2. Read the Challenge Guidelines carefully. 

  3. The online application, on, consists of a short essay (1000 words or less) and a short video (3 minutes or less) demonstrating your technology in response to one of the Challenge Categories.

  4. Make sure your essay addresses ALL of the criteria outlined in the Guidelines. See the section SUBMITTING YOUR APPLICATION in the Guidelines to understand the criteria.

  5. Submit your application by April 8th, 2019!

Want to discuss your idea with a Community of Solvers?

Join the Conservation X Labs online community in the Digital Makerspace to find collaborators and share ideas. The Digital Makerspace is an online open community working toward creating tech solutions for conservation's greatest problems. Remember, you must submit your application via to be eligible for the prize!

Why a competition?

Sometimes we need to look outside of our research silos for solutions to problems. Maybe you already solved a similar problem, but in a different geographic location, or with a different species? Open Innovation Challenges like the 'Ōhi'a Challenge seek to incentivize innovators from outside the silo. Join us in the journey to save the ‘ōhi’a!