Thought For Food Launches the 2019 TFF Challenge—Calls on the Next Generation of Changemakers to Create Breakthrough Solutions for Sustainable and Inclusive Food Systems
Participants gain access to the TFF Digital Labs – a new, mobile-optimized startup accelerator and collaboration platform built for food and agricultural innovators– and will have the chance to win travel, cash and prizes from a variety of partners
Rome, Italy, October 16, 2019 — Thought For Food (TFF), the world’s leading organisation dedicated to empowering the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs in food and agriculture, today launches the 7th edition of its TFF Challenge, focused on developing and accelerating new ideas and startups that foster sustainable and inclusive food systems.
The TFF Challenge calls on changemakers from all parts of the world to leverage science and technology breakthroughs in areas like artificial intelligence, blockchain and biotechnology, and to utilise inclusive business models such as circularity, open data, and sharing economy in order to create locally-relevant solutions that address a wide range of pressing challenges across all parts of the food value chain—from production to distribution through to consumption and waste. Areas of particular interest include nutritious foods; novel flavours and aromas; regenerative agricultural production systems (crops, aquaculture, livestock); controlled environment agriculture; appropriate technology for smallholders; and transparent and inclusive supply chains.
This year, TFF is working with leading partners to launch specific innovation challenges in order to encourage solution development in the following areas:
The TFF x Food Lab Accelerator at Google (FLAG) “Circular Economy of Food Challenge”:
Can you create a food product that has a truly positive impact? That goes beyond sustainability and builds a circular economy for the global food system? Guided by expert input from industry leaders at Appelgate, Danone, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Google, HowGood, Lexicon of Food, and the World Economic Forum, this unique challenge will push you to discover disruptive innovations in all phases of a food product’s journey—from agricultural production to processing to packaging and beyond.
The TFF x reNature Foundation “Regenerative Agroforestry Challenge”:
How can you support farmers and cooperatives to transition to sustainable agroforestry systems? Which innovative and useful products can be created and delivered from agroforestry systems? In this challenge, teams are called upon to create solutions that mimic natural forest ecosystems to regenerate soil, increase biodiversity, improve the water cycle, enhance ecosystem services, sequester carbon and improve climate resilience.
The TFF x Beta.Space “Colonizing Space Challenge”:
Recently, visionaries like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have taken extraordinary steps toward getting humans to other worlds. However, the challenge remains: How will we sustain ourselves once we get there? What will farming on the Moon, Mars or in Orbit look like? What crops will we grow and foods will we eat there? And how can the ideas developed to solve these challenges be applied right here on Earth? Beta.Space is the new innovation ecosystem for building a better, sustainable world wherever humans may live – and you can be to be a part of it.
Additional specific innovation challenges and partners will be announced over the next several weeks.
Starting on October 16th, 2019, teams who sign up to take part in the TFF Challenge will gain access to the all-new TFF Digital Labs, a mobile-optimised digital startup accelerator and collaboration platform that features practical and action-oriented content delivered by TFF’s multidisciplinary global network of experts, creatives, and entrepreneurs.
The Digital Labs offers modular learning programs across five key areas: entrepreneurship, food and agricultural knowledge, personal growth, inspiration, and creativity. It provides peer-to-peer and expert mentoring, direct connections to industry partners, growers, customers and investors, and access to enabling technologies and data provided by partners such as European Space Agency, Agribusiness Academy, WikiFactory, reNature Foundation and the Founders Institute. By helping young entrepreneurs identify innovation opportunities, develop new solutions, and nurture their concepts into workable businesses.
The Digital Labs provides mission-driven entrepreneurs with the skills, mindsets and connections they need to build successful businesses in diverse locations around the world.
The TFF Challenge lasts until January 24th, 2020 at which point Finalist teams will be selected to take part in the TFF Academy and TFF Summit, which will be held from March 21-26th, 2020 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in partnership with the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, Sunway Group, iLabs, and ASLI. The Finalist teams will incubate and pitch their ideas there for the chance to win cash grants from the Thought For Food Foundation, the Kirchner Food Fellows and the Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture, as well as additional prizes from the specific innovation challenge partners mentioned above.
Since 2013, the TFF Challenge has empowered more than 15,000 youth from over 160 countries, and has supported the creation and acceleration of over 50 impact-oriented food and agriculture startups, including Climate Edge (UK), FoPo Food Powder (PH and DE), Biteback (ID), Sparky (UG), Agrilution (DE), AgroSpheres (USA), and Agrosmart (BR).
“With the urgency of climate change and the environmental and social pressures facing our food systems, our annual competition creates a groundswell of new solutions by incentivising innovation from the passionate and creative leaders of the next generation,” says Christine Gould, Founder and CEO of the Thought For Food Foundation. “We ask young people to do what they do best—which is to push boundaries and question assumptions. Through the years, this approach has delivered tangible impact with some of the most robust and inspired ideas of our generation. We can’t wait to see what this year brings forward.”
To learn more and to take part in the Thought For Food Challenge, go to www.tffdigitallabs.org