Innovators Sought for ‘Seeding the Future Global Food System’ Challenge

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) has launched the first annual Seeding The Future Global Food Systems Challenge, an initiative that seeks to inspire and support passionate, creative, diverse, and multidisciplinary teams of innovators, scientists and engineers to create game-changing innovations that will help transform our food systems.

“As stewards of our food system, we all hold a great responsibility to lead, inspire and advocate for change,” said Christie Tarantino-Dean, Chief Executive Officer at IFT.

“We’re honoured to collaborate with Seeding The Future Foundation and feel strongly that the Seeding The Future Global Food System Challenge is an important step towards advancing the science of food and other disciplines and applications across the global food system.”

The Challenge is funded by the Seeding The Future Foundation and has been initiated by Bernhard van Lengerich, founder of the Seeding The Future Foundation. The Challenge is focused on inspiring multidisciplinary teams to develop scalable innovations that target one or more of three domains: (I) safe and nutritious food for a healthy diet; (II) sustainably produced; and (III) accessible, appealing, affordable, and trusted by consumers.

To incentivise innovations at different stages of maturity, the Challenge includes three levels of awards, totalling up to US$1M annually:

  • US$25K Seed Grants: Awarded to organisations that are planting and nurturing high-potential, innovative ideas and have developed prototypes and/or initial proof of concept demonstrating that their innovation is feasible.
  • US$100K Growth Grants: Awarded to organisations that have demonstrated that their innovation is doable at least on a small scale and have developed early projections for both economic feasibility at scale and the impact potential to transform the food system.
  • US$250K Seeding The Future Grand Prizes: Awarded to organisations that have created innovations that are scalable, economically feasible, trusted by and compelling to consumers, and demonstrated major impact potential to transform the food system.

“We believe that advances and discoveries in science and technology, as well as creative new approaches and collaborations across disciplines and cultures, will lead to innovations that should help transform our food systems. Most impactful innovations, regardless of which stage of the food chain they may affect, consider the consumer as a critical enabler of a flourishing food system,” said Bernhard van Lengerich.

“We hope that this annual Challenge will inspire creative innovators, scientists and teams across disciplines, cultures and geographies to help create a food system that enables equitable access to safe, nutritious and affordable food for everyone while improving the health of our planet.”

Applications for the Challenge will open on June 7. Additional details on the application process, eligibility and awards can be found here.