Press release
Using the Knowledge of Many – for Innovation and Sustainability

K+S’s First Crowdsourcing Competition for Covering Tailings Piles

Kassel, 20.09.2018 
K+S has established ambitious sustainability goals and the company is now taking a new path in driving the achievement of these targets. With the “Brine Challenge”, K+S is looking for new approaches, concepts and ideas to significantly reduce the saline wastewater from the tailings piles.

As part of the international crowdsourcing competition “Brine Challenge”, K+S is calling on international scientists, companies, institutes and non-professionals alike to submit innovative proposals for covering its tailings piles. The company intends to incorporate viable new approaches into its own plans and procedures.

“With Shaping 2030, we have declared our commitment to sustainability, innovation and constructive dialogue with our stakeholders. We can ideally combine all these goals in our Brine Challenge”, says Mark Roberts, Chief Operating Officer of K+S.

Optimizing the existing procedures with new approaches

The company has been working on long-term projects to cover the large tailings piles in the Werra potash district for some time now. The aim is to significantly reduce the amount of saline wastewater caused by rain. Experts at K+S have developed promising methods in recent years, some of which have already been tested and implemented. In order to further optimize these processes in the future, new, innovative ideas should now also be included.

K+S is cooperating with NineSigma, the open innovation provider which will stage the challenge on its internet platform and mobilize its international network. The ideas have to fulfill specific requirements and can be submitted until December 12, 2018. The proposals will then be evaluated by a jury. Up to three of the best ideas will then be awarded € 20,000 each in April 2019.

Editor’s Note

More information about the “Brine Challenge” can be found on the website of NineSigma website as well as on Here, you can also find a video of Mark Roberts, COO of K+S as well as a short video explaining the competition.

About K+S

K+S considers itself a customer-focused, independent minerals company for the Agriculture, Industry, Consumers, and Communities segments and wants to grow the EBITDA to € 3 billion by 2030. Our approximately 15,000 employees enable farmers to provide nutrition for the world, solutions that keep industries going, improve daily life for consumers and provide safety in the winter. We continually meet the growing demand for mineral products from production sites in Europe, North and South America as well as a worldwide sales network. We strive for sustainability because we are deeply committed to our responsibilities to people, the environment, the communities and the economy in the regions in which we operate. Learn more about K+S at

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Michael Wudonig
Spokesman for corporate topics

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