Getting to the root of the unknown!

We at Bayer are looking for a technology that detects and monitors the roots of plants in a field without destroying them.

Join this challenge and show what grows beneath the surface. Scan the roots and make it visible to the eye by creating a digital map of the plant biomass beneath the soil.

Combine your know how with our expertise at Bayer in the area of Crop Science and have the chance to win 40.000€.

RootScan desktop

Demonstrate non-destructive and when possible a non-invasive method to map the root system of a plant in the field. The solution should give estimates of the root mass, root depth, and the diameter of the root system. Winning characteristics are accuracy, portability, and ease of use.

The Opportunity

The most critical part of every plant remains invisible to the eye. Inspecting roots of plants in the field requires digging and is consequently time consuming and destructive. Because of that we cannot track roots over time to truly understand how they influence crop yield.
This year’s Bayers Grants4Tech Challenge is looking for technology that changes this historically laborious task into something that can monitor the roots without destroying them.

RootScan desktop



Your solution should:


  • Collect and display data related to the root mass, root depth, and diameter of the root system in the field.
  • Cause no damage to the plants and minimize the disturbance of the soil.
  • Be as accurate as possible: the measured parameters will be compared with the results of established root phenotyping methods.
  • Be fit for field use. The easier it is to use the solution in the field, the better.
  • Be available for testing at finalist event.



During the finalist event selected teams present their prototype consisting of all necessary hardware and software.



For more information and questions have a look at our FAQs. To learn more about specific challenge conditions download the official rules here.



Meet the team