The Foodtech challenge

The UAE  is committed to providing its population with sufficient, safe and nutritious food. In pursuit of that ambition, the FoodTech Challenge is a global competition that seeks innovative solutions across the food value chain.

We are looking for exciting new business ideas that are technologically innovative and sustainable, and specifically tailored to the food and agriculture sectors in the UAE. Your idea can apply to any part of the food value chain, whether it is related to food production, food distribution, or food waste management. Your proposal must incorporate adaptive and innovative technologies, make efficient use of natural resources, and be commercially viable. If your idea is intended for adoption by individual households, we have a specific category of award dedicated for this market.

The FoodTech Challenge is not just a business case competition. Regardless of whether you are selected as a winner, if you have a promising business idea, we will support you to bring your idea to the UAE. This includes providing guidance on how to improve your business proposition, and ongoing engagement and networking opportunities with leading private and public sector entities in the local food and agriculture sectors.

The competition is brought to you by the UAE Food and Water Security Office and Tamkeen, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

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 a virtual Awards Ceremony.

3. The Awards Ceremony will be a 2-day food and agriculture technology event, including workshops, panel discussions, and networking sessions.

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.

How you can participate

Thank you for your interest in the FoodTech Challenge! Please note that submissions are currently closed. Stay tuned to our website for the latest updates.

Our Judges and Mentors

H.E. Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi
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
H.E. Rashed Al Shuraiqi
Senior Advisor for Agriculture
Al Dahra Agricultural Company
Nicole Thorpe
Founding Director
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
Feroz Sanaulla
Roland Berger
Cinar Kurra
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Rami Zurayk
American University of Beirut
Dr. Dionysia Lyra
Halophyte Agronomist
International Center for Biosaline Agriculture
Stuart Oda
Co-Founder and CEO
Alesca Life
Penny McBride
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
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