His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, attended the launch of the second edition of the Global FoodTech Challenge at Expo 2020 Dubai. FoodTech Challenge seeks technology innovations that will enable efficient, sustainable agriculture. This competition invites innovations in two vital fields: food production and food loss and waste, ranging from early-stage start-ups to university research teams.
Food production seeks to address the availability and abundance of food and explore nutrient-rich next generation alternatives, whereas food loss and waste aims to ensure the sustainability of the food supply chain and the planet. Global FoodTech Challenge is organized by the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and Tamkeen, an Abu Dhabi organization that offers projects that enrich the UAE’s social, cultural, and educational landscape.
In order to take winning concepts from the lab to market, winners of the Challenge will be offered the chance to scale-up their business model within the UAE, supported by R&D, start-up accelerators, commercial incentives, and mentorship programs. Applicants from around the world are encouraged to apply, with a preference for nations with agri-tech concentrations.
For this edition, ASPIRE, which manages the R&D funding programs of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), will be participating. There will be a local champion for each area of the Challenge. The ADQ and Silal field partners enhance food production, and the Emirates Foundation reduces food losses and waste. Winners in the first edition of the FoodTech Challenge came from Australia, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the UK. 437 applications were submitted from 68 countries.
The competition is supported by Abu Dhabi Global Market, Abu Dhabi Residents Office, The Catalyst Accelerator, and Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development. In November, the top 10 teams will be able to present their business cases at an award ceremony following the shortlisting of submissions in June. Applications can be submitted online.