CHICAGO – May 9, 2023 – The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), a nonprofit scientific organization committed to advancing the science of food and its application across the global food system, and the Seeding The Future Foundation are proud to announce the return of the annual Seeding The Future Global Food System Challenge. The Challenge invites scientists, engineers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and multidisciplinary teams from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), non-profits, social enterprises, universities, research institutions as well as small and emerging startups to submit their game-changing innovations that will help transform the global food system.

Now in its third year, the Challenge will once again award $1 million in grants and prizes via Seed Grants ($25,000 each), Growth Grants ($100,000 each), and Seeding The Future Grand Prizes ($250,000 each). Last year’s Growth Grant and Grand Prize winners included:

  • Commercializing black soldier fly larvae as chicken feed to enhance egg nutrition and lower the cost of eggs in Rwanda. (Food Systems for the Future)
  • Eliminating dangerous aflatoxins from smallholder supply chains starting with peanuts in Haiti. (Acceso)
  • Accelerating the deployment of aquaponics that combine soilless crop production and fish farming to increase global food production in the face of climate change. (INMED Partnerships for Children)
  • Community-led solar powered cold storage program to enable access to improved agricultural techniques and practices in rural developments. (Smart Villages Resource Group)
  • Leveraging the US Postal Service to bring fresh produce from farms to front doors. (World Wildlife Fund)

“The Global Food System Challenge is meant to be a call to action to the global food community. More than 840 million people suffer from chronic hunger, severe undernutrition, and extreme poverty while more than 30% of food is wasted globally every year. Climate change, conflicts and poverty prevent equitable access to safe and nutritious food for many populations in both developed and developing regions. We urgently need impactful and transformative innovations that will lead to a sustainable food system and enable access of healthy, affordable, and appealing food that consumers trust,” said Bernhard van Lengerich, founder of Seeding The Future Foundation.

While application submissions open on June 1 and close on August 1, interested participants can review guidelines here to begin preparing their submission.

Since 2021, more than 1,500 submissions from 75 countries have been received from multidisciplinary teams from academic and research institutions, non-profits, and startups. The Challenge is funded by the Seeding The Future Foundation and hosted by IFT.

“The Seeding The Future Global Food System Challenge mirrors IFT’s mission and commitment to addressing food insecurity and ensuring a healthy future for our global food supply,” said IFT CEO Christie Tarantino-Dean. “We are thrilled to be partnering once again with Bernhard and the Seeding The Future Foundation on one of the most important showcases of food innovation and ingenuity.”

For more information, visit Applicants needing additional support are encouraged to review Frequently Asked Questions.

About Institute of Food Technologists
The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is a global organization of approximately 12,000 individual members from more than 100 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. IFT works to ensure that its members have the resources they need to learn, grow and advance the science of food as the population and the world evolve. IFT believes that science is essential to ensuring a global food supply that is sustainable, safe, nutritious, and accessible to all. For more information, please visit

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

Media Contact
Dennis Van Milligen
Senior Manager, Public and Media Relations
Institute of Food Technologists
[email protected]

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