About the FoodTech Challenge

The FoodTech Challenge awards offer financial and in-kind prizes to ensure our winners have the support they need to have a soft landing in the UAE agri-tech ecosystem.

The winners of this year’s FoodTech Challenge will have the opportunity to access a $2M award pool consisting of a cash prize, startup incentives, acceleration services, innovation grants, localization support, mentorship programs and more.

The 2022 application window closed on 8th July. Applications are now being evaluated by the FoodTech Challenge technical and commercial judges.

Award Details

The prize pool will be split across four winning teams.

Cash Award

Value: Up to $400,000

Acceleration Support

$135,000 'wallet' to spend on acceleration services, enrollment in company building program, and access to capital & corporate communities

Value: Up to $540,000

Acceleration Support

Proof of concept support and business development support, with access to lab and manufacturing space

Value: Up to $760,000

Subject to Catalyst acceptance and participation T&Cs

Grants to Launch ‘Social Impact’ Projects in the UAE

Value: Up to $500,000

Subject to Ma’an acceptance and participation T&Cs

Localization Support

Support for obtaining UAE commercial registration and ‘Golden Visas’

Patent Support

Technical, legal and financial support for patent registration

Mentorship and Go-To-Market Support

Mentorship and go-to-market support from local agri-tech experts

Our Partners

The FoodTech Challenge has partnered with leading local entities that are driving forward the UAE’s food security agenda through advanced R&D, start-up support, investment, policy, education, and more.

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UAE Food Security

Food security exists when people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.

Learn More

Be Inspired by Previous Winners



An algae-based superfood rich in omega-3 and protein that can be grown in seawater

QS Monitor


A monitoring platform that supports efforts to ensure food sold in the UAE meets all necessary safety standards



A greenhouse system that uses saltwater as the primary input, providing a solution that can reduce freshwater use in crops by up to 90%

SafetyNet Technologies


A polarised LED lighting solution that helps fishermen catch the right fish and avoid bycatch



HE Mariam AlMheiri

Minister of Climate Change & Environment

UAE Ministry of Climate Change & Environment

Rima Al Mokarrab


Tamkeen LLC

HE Faisal Al Bannai

Secretary General

Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC)

Badr Al Olama

Acting CEO


HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud

Founder and CEO

KBW Ventures

Dr. Agnes Kalibata


Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)

David Rosenberg

CEO and Co-Founder


Dr. Uma Valeti



Danielle Nierenberg


Food Tank

Abdulaziz Al Mulla

Founder and CEO

Madar Farms

Alex Mitchell

Investment Director

Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners

Anne Le More

United Nations Food Systems Champion

Christophe Lalo

Chairman Middle East

Pure Salmon

Cinar Kurra



Damian Malins

Venturing Projects Director

Fera Science Ltd

Dr. AbdulMonem Al Marzooqi


Elite Agro

Dr. Balaji Vasudevan

AgroBiosciences Chief Scientist

UM6P Ventures

Dr. Jan Prins

Head Grower

Pure Harvest

Dr. Jennifer Tung

Staff Scientist

Triplebar Bio

Dr. Merle Jensen

Professor Emeritus

University of Arizona

Dr. Neta Lavon

Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of R&D

Aleph Farms

Dr. Ryan Lefers

Co-Founder and CEO

Red Sea Farms

Dr. Shamal Mohammed

Director of AgriTech


Feroz Sanaulla


Roland Berger

Gil Adotevi

Executive Director, Food and Agriculture


Hana Barakat

Senior Associate Director


Hayat Alhassan

Sourcing and Selection


Kamal Rasool

Director of R&D

Responsive Drip Irrigation

Khuloud Al Nuwais

Chief Sustainability Officer

Emirates Foundation

Mahmoud Ward

Head of Community and Operations


Muhra Al Mulla

Senior Associate, Disruptive Investments platform


Nicole Thorpe

Co-Founder and Director


Penny McBride

Strategic Advisor

Penny McBride Consulting

Qussay Abdul Wahab

SME Expert

Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development

Salvatore Lavallo

Head of FDI

Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO)

Stuart Oda

Founder & CEO

Alesca Life Technologies