The FoodTech Challenge

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The U.S.-U.A.E. Business Councilis pleased to support the second edition of the FoodTech Challenge, a global competition hosted by the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and Tamkeen, in association with ASPIRE. The FoodTech Challenge seeks to find the next wave of technology innovations that are on the cusp of transforming traditional agriculture practices, efficiently and sustainably. The FoodTech Challenge is also supported by ADGM,ADQ, and Catalyst, (a Masdar-BP initiative) among others. 

The FoodTech Challenge is targeted at early-stage start-ups, ranging from international university-based research teams to individual entrepreneurs and small firms. The competition invites innovations related to two critical tracks: (a) ‘food production’ to address the availability and abundance of food and explore ‘next gen’, nutrient rich alternatives, and (b) ‘food loss and waste’.

10 finalist teams will be selected by leading industry experts, before competing at a two-day event featuring workshops, networking sessions, panel discussions, and an awards ceremony in November 2022.

With a pooled prize of up to US $2 Million, four winners will be offered an opportunity to scale-up their business model within the U.A.E., supported with R&D, start-up acceleration, commercial incentives, and mentorship to take winning concepts from lab-to-market.

The Food Tech Challenge’s dual focus on food production and food loss and waste is a reflection of the challenges faced by the U.A.E.  U.A.E. Minister of Climate Change and Environment H.E. Mariam Almheiri recently told The National that the U.A.E.’s lack of arable land and water scarcity pose challenges to growing food in the U.A.E. through traditional agriculture. She also noted that the U.A.E. is one of the world’s largest per capita generators of food loss and food waste.

The U.A.E.’s focus on these dual challenges is a clear indicator that the U.A.E. seeks to address its food security issues via innovative technologies. Minister Almheiri has noted the significance of the Challenge, lauding both the competition and the U.A.E. for “really taking a serious step in working with the global community and finding solutions to food systems in the U.A.E.”.  These solutions can also help other countries facing similar challenges.Early submission applications are due 20 May 2022. For further details and to apply, please click here.

For more information on the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council’s programming on food security, please contact Rachel Carrillo at rcarrillo@usuaebusiness.org.