Congratulations to our Top 4 winners!

Has Algae, QS Monitor, Red Sea Farms, and SafetyNet Technologies are the winners of the FoodTech Challenge, each winning a share of the $1 million prize pool! Thank you to all our finalists, judges, mentors, partners, and attendees for joining us for the awards ceremony.

Do you want to learn more? Check out our Opportunities page to find out how you can transform your food technology idea into a reality in the UAE.

OUR TOP 4 WINNER​s

The FoodTech Challenge

The FoodTech Challenge is a global competition that seeks innovative solutions to address food security.
The competition supports the UAE’s commitment to providing its population with sufficient, safe and nutritious food. The competition invites applicants from all backgrounds to join. University students and early-stage start-ups with prior experience in urban farming have been especially encouraged to apply.

What does food security mean?

Food Security, as defined by the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security, is “the condition in which all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food, that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”.

What does Food Security mean?

Food Security, as defined by the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security, is “the condition in which all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food, that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”.

HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR IDEA

To be part of the FoodTech Challenge, you will need to submit a detailed business case proposal, as well as a one-minute pitch video.

Click the button below to register on our Entries website and to read more about the competition rules.

How to submit your idea

1. Applications for the FoodTech Challenge are accepted from September 2019 to February 2020.

2. A panel of experts will select the finalists entries, who will then be invited to present their business case in-person in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

3. The finals will be a three-day food and agriculture technology event, including workshops and panel discussions, networking sessions, and the final award ceremony.

4. Four winning teams will share prize money of up to $1M USD, which includes cash prizes as well as eligibility for a UAE-based accelerator programme.

FoodTech Challenge Awards Ceremony

17-18 November 2020

Our 12 finalist teams from more than 400 entrants will compete in a virtual pitch competition in front of a panel of distinguished judges from the food technology industry. Join us only for the 2-day event that will feature a number of sessions, including a Q&A with David Rosenberg, panel discussions with world-renowned speakers, finalist pitches, and the Award Ceremony.

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October 2020 Newsletter

October 31, 2020

We are delighted to announce that the FoodTech Challenge Awards Ceremony will take place on 17-18 November 2020. At the virtual final event, our 12 finalist teams, selected from 437 submissions from 68 countries around the world, will compete for a chance to win a share of the $1 million FoodTech Challenge prize. There can only be four winners.

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The UAE's sustainable food plan involves growing rice and developing soil

October 21, 2020

An interview with Jacek Plewa, CEO at Healthy Farm Food Innovation, discussing plant-based foods in the Middle East. Plewa states that while other markets are exploring plant-based meat, egg, cheese and dairy, the Middle East is just beginning to offer plant-based options such as almond milk.

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UK firms moot new sustainable farming partnerships in Abu Dhabi

October 20, 2020

The UK is increasingly outsourcing its farming expertise to Middle Eastern countries. Countries like the UAE are investing in agtech innovation to improve food security, and the GCC is increasingly working together with stakeholders in the UK to tackle regional resource scarcity challenges.

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UAE firms sign agriculture deals in Israel as pact approved

October 19, 2020

Israeli irrigation company Netafim has announced plans to open an office in the UAE. The deal, in addition to three others, was made during a UAE business delegation visit to Israel. Abu Dhabi-based agriculture firm Al Dahra Holding, whose managing director led the UAE delegation, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Israeli firm WaterGen’s heat-exchange technology which produces water from air.

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UAE reaffirms support for global efforts aimed at achieving food security

October 15, 2020

In celebration of World Food Day, the UAE's Minister of State for Food and Water Security, Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, commented that the UAE will continue to play a key role in strengthening global cooperation and promoting more sustainable food systems in its efforts to achieve the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

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Nearly 200 of the world's biggest food suppliers pledge to halve their food waste

September 23, 2020

Close to 200 food suppliers have pledged to cut their food waste in half by 2030. Major companies including Unilever, PepsiCo and Nestle Global have joined the 10x20x30 initiative, a global effort to slash the staggering amount of food that is discarded every year.

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Minister of State for Food and Water Security reaffirms UAE's commitment to UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

September 12, 2020

H.E. Mariam Almheiri, Minister of State for Food Security, was a guest speaker at a virtual meeting of G20 food and agriculture ministers focusing on food and water security concerns during and post-COVID-19.

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The UAE's sustainable food plan involves growing rice and developing soil

September 11, 2020

Khalifa University is in the process of developing an artificial soil that is made up of almost 90% desert sand with the aim of using it locally and eventually regionally by farmers. Scientists are hopeful that this soil will transform the crop sector in the UAE.

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Abu Dhabi launches new open data platform to improve public services

September 8, 2020

Abu Dhabi Open Data, an open data platform, has been launched by the Department of Government Support in partnership with 23 other government entities, aiming to facilitate the exchange of more than 550 data sets across agriculture, environment, health, transportation, energy, and technology.

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September 2020 Newsletter

September 1, 2020

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 developments, the FoodTech Challenge Awards Ceremony will be rescheduled to late November and we are in the process of finalizing the dates. We will update you as soon as these are confirmed, and we very much appreciate your patience. To ensure the safety and wellbeing of participants, judges, partners, attendees and staff, the awards ceremony will be held as a virtual event. This decision was made after careful consultation with our partners and UAE public health authorities.

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Lettuce from Abu Dhabi vertical farm to go on sale in September

August 24, 2020

Fresh greens produced by Smart Acres, a vertical farm in Abu Dhabi, will go on sale for the first time in September. The vegetables are grown under LED lights in nutrient-rich water instead of soil.

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Paris: 'World's largest urban rooftop farm' in progress

August 23, 2020

Paris is transforming roofs and abandoned urban areas into green spaces in an effort to be a global model for sustainable production. The project will be the world's largest urban rooftop vertical farm, built in the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles.

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How COVID-19 is transforming grocery e-commerce in Dubai

August 18, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the pace of change in the UAE's grocery e-commerce sector. Romain Olliver, the co-founder of Farmbox, a Dubai-based food delivery service, discusses the company's tenfold increase in orders as more customers shop online.

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How COVID-19 is transforming grocery e-commerce in Dubai

August 18, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the pace of change in the UAE's grocery e-commerce sector. Romain Olliver, the co-founder of Farmbox, a Dubai-based food delivery service, discusses the company's tenfold increase in orders as more customers shop online.

Read more...

August 2020 Newsletter

August 1, 2020

What does it take to build a vertical farm? How about a food waste monitoring system? What kind of expertise does your team need to possess? These are some of the questions we asked our finalists to learn more about their teams and their creative business ideas.

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Forum highlights woman's role in agricultural entrepreneurship

July 21, 2020

Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, UAE’s Minister of State for Food and Water Security, officially opened the "Agricultural Entrepreneurship Forum" organised by the Ajman Business Women Council.

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iFarm, Palm Co. win 'The CovHack Virtual Innovation Challenge' on circular food economy

July 21, 2020

Innovate4Good (I4G), a platform for the impact entrepreneurship ecosystem, has announced the winners of The CovHack Virtual Innovation Challenge. iFarm and Palm Co. won the Startup and Team Challenge categories, respectively.

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iFarm, Palm Co. win 'The CovHack Virtual Innovation Challenge' on circular food economy

July 21, 2020

Innovate4Good (I4G), a platform for the impact entrepreneurship ecosystem, has announced the winners of The CovHack Virtual Innovation Challenge. iFarm and Palm Co. won the Startup and Team Challenge categories, respectively.

Read more...

Forum highlights woman's role in agricultural entrepreneurship

July 21, 2020

Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, UAE’s Minister of State for Food and Water Security, officially opened the "Agricultural Entrepreneurship Forum" organised by the Ajman Business Women Council.

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Fazenda Futuro enters the UAE, increases production capacity from 115 to 600 tons per month

July 16, 2020

Brazilian food tech company Fazenda Futuro, also known as ‘Future Farm’, is now distributing its burgers in the UAE. To meet the demand in the UAE, Future Farm has expanded its production capacity from 115 to 600 tons per month.

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Fazenda Futuro enters the UAE, increases production capacity from 115 to 600 tons per month

July 16, 2020

Brazilian food tech company Fazenda Futuro, also known as ‘Future Farm’, is now distributing its burgers in the UAE. To meet the demand in the UAE, Future Farm has expanded its production capacity from 115 to 600 tons per month.

Read more...

Regional experts gather to address food security challenge in the MENA region

July 5, 2020

A regional virtual conference addressing the challenge of food security in the Middle East region took place in Dubai to discuss the latest trends in agriculture and the opportunities in improving the quality of domestic production.

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Regional experts gather to address food security challenge in the MENA region

July 5, 2020

A regional virtual conference addressing the challenge of food security in the Middle East region took place in Dubai to discuss the latest trends in agriculture and the opportunities in improving the quality of domestic production.

Read more...

July 2020 Newsletter

July 1, 2020

Our Finalist Teams are hard at work refining their pitch presentations with their mentors in preparation for the final Awards Ceremony. One of our Finalist Teams, Red Sea Farms, hosted a virtual meeting with Dr. Merle Jensen, one of our mentors, to discuss his feedback about their business case. Many thanks to Dr. Merle and all our mentors who continue to support the FoodTech Challenge and provide valuable insights and advice to our finalists. Our mentors are local and global experts in agriculture and food technology in industry, academia, and policy circles. You can find out more about their profiles here.

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Coronavirus: Dubai launches hi-tech scheme to boost food security amid challenges of pandemic

June 26, 2020

Dubai has turned to technology to bolster food security in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed, chairman of the emirate's Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management, spoke of the need to safeguard supplies against future challenges as he launched the Food Security Dashboard of Dubai. The crucial resource, developed by a local government team with the backing of authorities such as Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Dubai Economy and the Dubai Port, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, utilises artificial intelligence and data analytics to track key indicators of strong food security. The hi-tech system spearheaded by Smart Dubai monitors the supply index, stock availability, local production, consumption levels, and the cost of vital commodities in the emirate.

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Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority supports agriculture sector with 5 new projects worth AED75M

June 24, 2020

In cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) has developed a pipeline of investment projects worth AED1 billion for the private sector to enhance the food security and agricultural sustainability system in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. As part of these projects, ADAFSA has awarded five investment projects to four major local companies and a veterinary clinic to build on the emirate’s rapidly growing agricultural value chain with long-term Musataha agreement for periods of up to 30 years.

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Minister of State for Food and Water Security launches UAE Aquaculture Pulse 2020 guideline

June 24, 2020

"Aquaculture is a core component of the UAE’s National Food Security Strategy," asserted Mariam Hareb Almheiri, Minister of State for Food and Water Security, while launching the UAE Aquaculture Pulse 2020 – a document set to serve as a reference point, outlining and evaluating investment opportunities in the local aquaculture sector. Almheiri launched the new project during a virtual meeting organised by the Food Security Office jointly with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO, today, to discuss "Supporting Sustainable and Innovative Aquaculture in the UAE". The UAE Aquaculture Pulse 2020 studies consumption patterns in local and international markets, analysing production quality and size as well as prices and availability to support future investments in aquaculture projects in the UAE.

Read more...

UAE FoodTech Challenge Reveals 12 Finalists Developing Innovative Solutions To Battle Food Security

June 12, 2020

The UAE FoodTech challenge has announced the selection of 12 finalists who are competing for a considerable share of a $1 million prize pool, by demonstrating commercially viable solutions to support the UAE’s National Food Security Strategy. The initiative was launched collaboratively by the UAE Food Security Office and Tamkeen in September 2019.

Read more...

June 2020 Newsletter

June 1, 2020

Congratulations to our Finalists, who were selected from over 400+ submissions from all over the world! Our Finalists are hard at work refining their business cases to compete for their share of the $1m prize pool and eligibility to the Catalyst Accelerator Program.

Read more...

LATEST NEWS & EVENTS

Our Judges and Mentors

H.E. Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi
Director-General
Abu Dhabi Investment Office
Maria Helena Semedo
Deputy Director-General
Food and Agriculture Organization
Danielle Nierenberg
Co-Founder and President
Food Tank
David Rosenberg
CEO and Co-Founder
AeroFarms
H.E. Rashed Al Shuraiqi
Senior Advisor for Agriculture
Al Dahra Agricultural Company
Nicole Thorpe
Founding Director
Cultinova
Kieran Dowd
Vice President of Sourcing Solutions; General Manager
Emirates Flight Catering; Emirates Crop One
Dr. Hanan Afifi
Lead Researcher
Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority
Abdulaziz Al Mulla
Co-Founder and CEO
Madar Farms
Dr. Ramesh Jagannathan
Managing Director
StartAD
Feroz Sanaulla
Partner
Roland Berger
Cinar Kurra
Chief Executive Officer
Catalyst
Dr. Rami Zurayk
Professor
American University of Beirut
Dr. Dionysia Lyra
Halophyte Agronomist
International Center for Biosaline Agriculture
Stuart Oda
Co-Founder and CEO
Alesca Life
Penny McBride
Vice-Chairwoman
Farmtech Society
Dr. Merle Jensen
Professor Emeritus
University of Arizona
Dr. Dino Francescutti
Sub-Regional Coordinator for the GCC States and Yemen
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Omar Al Jundi
Chief Executive Officer
Badia Farms
Hana Barakat
Assistant Director
startAD
Dr. Raman Bhaskaracharya
Assistant Professor in College of Food and Agriculture
United Arab Emirates University
Georg Czerny
General Manager
Al Dahra BayWa Agriculture
Fatima Al Suwaidi
Analyst, Development and Investment
Masdar

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