Sowing the challenge of the future global food system

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), in collaboration with Seeding The Future Foundation, announced the return of the Seeding The Future Global Food System Challenge.

With up to 811 million people around the world suffering from hunger and facing food-related challenges, the goal of the challenge is to inspire and support innovative, diverse and multidisciplinary teams to develop innovations breakthroughs that will help transform the food system. Plus, making healthier diets more accessible and empowering consumers to make choices that benefit both their personal health and that of the planet.

“IFT and Seeding The Future Foundation share similar visions of a world where science and innovation are universally accepted as essential to improving everyone’s diet,” said Christie Tarantino-Dean, CEO of the Foundation. ‘IFT.

“Last year’s Challenge was a great success with nearly 900 organizations engaged from around the world, and we strongly believe this initiative will have an impact for years to come by helping to accelerate scientific breakthroughs.”

Hosted by IFT and funded by Seeding The Future Foundation, the Challenge aims to support innovations that have the potential to have significant impact at scale and over time, and benefit at least one or more of the following cross-cutting areas: nutritious food for healthy living diet; sustainably produced; and accessible, attractive, affordable and trustworthy to consumers.

To encourage innovation at all levels, from idea generation to development and scale, the Challenge offers three tiers of rewards, totaling up to $1 million per year:

  • Seed grants ($25,000 each) will be awarded to organizations that plant and cultivate innovative ideas with high potential and have developed a prototype and/or an initial proof of concept demonstrating feasibility. The innovation must benefit at least one, ideally two areas without negative impact on the others.
  • Grow Grants ($100,000 each) will be awarded to organizations that have demonstrated that their innovation is feasible and that have foreseen both large-scale economic feasibility and high-impact potential to transform the food system. The innovation must benefit at least two, ideally three areas without negative impact on the others.
  • Sow future grand prizes ($250,000 each) will be awarded to organizations that have created innovations that are scalable, economically feasible at scale, reliable and compelling to consumers, and have demonstrated the potential for major impact to transform the food system. The innovation must benefit at least two, ideally three areas without negative impact on the others.

“We believe that the most groundbreaking ideas start at a very small scale, come from passionate and diverse teams, and have the potential to have a big impact,” said Seeding The Future Foundation founder Dr. Bernhard van Lengerich. .

“Our hope is that the Challenge will create a strong and powerful innovation pipeline that leads to transformative change within the global food system.”

Applications for the Challenge will open June 1 and close August 1. Seed grant recipients will be announced in September, and Grow grant recipients and Seeding The Future grand prize recipients will be announced in January 2023.

Additional details on the application process, eligibility and awards are available at ift.org/food-system-challenge.