First-ever Grand Prize, Growth Grant and Seed Grant winners selected for innovative solutions that will transform the food system and improve sustainability
CHICAGO – Jan. 27, 2022 – The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) today announced winners for the inaugural Seeding The Future Global Food System Challenge– an initiative which seeks to inspire and support innovative, diverse and multidisciplinary teams to create game-changing innovations that will help transform the food system. To incentivize innovation at all levels, including idea generation, development, and scale up, the Challenge offers three levels of awards consisting of Seed Grants, Growth Grants, and a Grand Prize category, totaling more than $1 million.
As millions of people suffer from chronic hunger and obesity, and with the world population expected to surpass 9 billion by 2050, the Challenge was initiated by the Seeding The Future Foundation to inspire and support highly impactful solutions to make our food system more sustainable and healthy diets more accessible, while empowering consumers to make choices benefitting both personal and planetary health. The Challenge focuses on scalable and high impact innovations that reside at the intersection of three domains: safe and nutritious food for a healthy diet; produced sustainably and without waste; and accessible, appealing, affordable, and trusted by consumers.
In the first year of the Challenge, nearly 900 applications were submitted from startups, nonprofits, universities, research institutions, and multi-organization collaborations, from more than 60 countries. The vast and varied interest demonstrates the significance and drive to create a more resilient and sustainable food system to feed the world’s growing population.
Among the top winning projects are solutions across the food value chain, from natural fertilizer and animal feed to safer, more nutritious grains and protein sources, to off-grid solar dryers and solar powered refrigeration units. Designed to operate in high temperature, geographic regions that lack infrastructure, the refrigeration units extend shelf life and avoid spoilage of fresh produce. These integrated solutions are promising and sustainable approaches in improving our food supply in the face of health crisis and climate change.
“Throughout the selection process, we saw truly inspiring and revolutionary innovations developed by highly motivated teams from all over the world to address the challenges facing our food system on a regional and global scale,” said Bernhard van Lengerich, founder of Seeding The Future Foundation. “We are thrilled to announce the winners of this first Challenge and to support their innovative solutions which will sustainably improve our food system, provide safe and nutritious food that is trusted, affordable and accessible by consumers and benefit the health of people and the environment.”
The Grand Prize winners are:
The Growth Grant winners are:
In addition to the Grand Prize and Growth Grant winners, IFT also announced eight recipients of the Seed Grant. Recipients included Association 3535, Eatwell Meal Kits, Center for Nanoscience and Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, INMED Partnerships for Children, Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute, Tanzania Environment Management Catalyst, University of Missouri, and the World Wildlife Fund.
“We’re humbled by the exceptional work being done to advance the food system, and it’s an honor to recognize the winners of the inaugural Global Food System Challenge,” said Christie TarantinoDean, Chief Executive Officer at IFT. “We firmly believe this year’s recipients have created innovative, impactful solutions needed to build a more sustainable food supply.”
Additional details about the inaugural Global Food System Challenge and its winners can be found here.
About Institute of Food Technologists
The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is a global organization of approximately 12,000 individual members from 95 countries committed to advancing the science of food. Since 1939, IFT has brought together the brightest minds in food science, technology and related professions from academia, government, and industry to solve the world's greatest food challenges. Our organization works to ensure that our members have the resources they need to learn, grow, and advance the science of food as the population and the world evolve. We believe that science is essential to ensuring a global food supply that is sustainable, safe, nutritious, and accessible to all. For more information, please visit ift.org.
About Seeding The Future Foundation
The Seeding The Future Foundation is a private, non-profit organization, motivated by its core value that everyone should always have equitable access to safe, nutritious, affordable, appealing, and trusted food. It seeks to inspire innovative solutions that can help transform the global food system to be more sustainable and benefit the health of people and the environment. The Foundation provides seed-funding and support to promising ideas and high impact innovations to improve food systems globally, technologies to reduce post-harvest losses in developing regions, as well as foundational work in academia and research. For more information, please visit seedingthefuture.org
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