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Meet Our Finalists: Red Sea Farms

31 August 2020

Red Sea Farms is a saltwater greenhouse system to enable year-round, high-intensity food production for water scarce regions. They are 1 of our 12 Finalist Teams who will compete in the upcoming FoodTech Challenge Awards Ceremony. Read more about them below. What makes your team excited about your idea and food technology?: We’re really excited by the fact that our idea will help digitization of the food supply chain and remove inefficiencies between traders, government and service providers hence improve access to high quality, safe, nutritional food supply. What is the biggest source of motivation for your team to work on this project?: Impact has been our biggest source of motivation. We care as much about people as we do the environment, and we desire to leave a positive and lasting impact. Agriculture currently represents the largest global drain on freshwater resources, and this is not sustainable. We have to change. We envision a world where saltwater resources are used sensibly and sustainably to feed global communities. Could you tell us something unique about your team that makes you a strong contender to be in the Top 4 winners?: In addition to the co-founders, both masters of their crafts, the Red Sea Farms team includes experts in three key fields: business, horticulture, and technology. We utilize a truly cross-disciplinary approach to problem solving and innovation. Our team is diverse not only in areas of expertise but also in terms of nationality.  We have members from 9 different countries on our core team currently. This global problem of food security–which is a result of several complex, interrelated systems–requires multiple perspectives and experiences. We agree with what research shows: more diverse teams become higher-performing units over time. Energy, passion, and joy anchor our company culture and relationships with stakeholders. Lastly, if you are selected as one of the four winners, how does your team plan to use the prize money? To be selected as one of four winners would be a great honor. If funding is received,  we will refine our technology and scale more rapidly. Our goal is to build a Red Sea Farms saltwater greenhouse pilot adapted specifically to the UAE environment.

Meet Our Finalists: Safety Net Technologies

31 August 2020

Safety Net Technologies is a state-of-the-art light-emitting solution to enable the fisherman to catch more sustainably. They are 1 of our 12 Finalist Teams who will compete in the upcoming FoodTech Challenge Awards Ceremony. Read more about them below.  What makes your team excited about your idea and food technology?: Currently, about 1 out of every 5 fish caught in the wrong fish, leading to 27m+ tons of fish wasted every year globally and 20% wasted space on vessels. This leads to great environmental, economic, and ecological costs as oceans are being depleted, coastal communities suffer, and the demand in the food supply is not being met. SafetyNet Technologies uses light-emitting devices to help fishermen catch the right fish, lowering bycatch by up to 90% and improving fishing revenues by 25% – saving more fish, helping fishermen, and protecting an increasingly essential food source now and for the future. What is the biggest source of motivation for your team to work on this project?: We dream of living in a world where oceans and people thrive together. As a team, we can develop and scale trusted and valued solutions that enable sustainable practices in the fishing industry. Could you tell us something unique about your team that makes you a strong contender to be in the Top 4 winners? As we’ve grown the team, we have been keen to empower everyone to find solutions to the problems that need solving. We’re driven by purpose and our technology is human-centered, to make sure that we are building solutions with fishermen for fishermen. Using a very human-centered design approach, our team can adapt to the needs of the end-users and operate in a lean way to come up with solutions that work best for the industry to ensure the best adoption. Lastly, if you are selected as one of the four winners, how does your team plan to use the prize money? As we are starting to enter the market and replicating our existing successful scientific trials in the commercial fishing industry, we would like to do more trials on other crucial species that are causing the biggest issues to food security around the world, so we can replicate those successes in the industry as well. The fishing industry is quite conservative and trust-based and wants to see these validated trials before using the technology themselves. The prize money would go towards furthering these scientific trials.

Meet Our Finalists: Has Algae

31 August 2020

Has Algae produces algae-based superfood products rich in Omega 3 and protein. They are 1 of our 12 Finalist Teams who will compete in the upcoming FoodTech Challenge Awards Ceremony. Read more about them below. What makes your team excited about your idea and food technology?: It’s amazing that harnessing such a small microscopic organism (microalgae) could solve so many of the pressing problems the world faces – from food security and climate change to wastewater remediation and bioproducts such as food, feed, plastic-polymers, cosmetics, nutraceuticals, and nutrient-rich fertilizer. Sometimes you need to look at the littlest things to solve the biggest problems. The absolute biggest problem though is food for human health. If we can unlock the potential to maximize nutrition with algae, and in particular protein, then we can all live longer, healthier, and more sustainable lives. What is the biggest source of motivation for your team to work on this project?: Solving the world’s biggest food-related challenges is what drives the Has Algae team. Could you tell us something unique about your team that makes you a strong contender to be in the Top 4 winners?: Has Algae is built on strong fundamentals of optimized algae research and production. Professor Peer Schenk is an expert in this field with over 15 years of experience in algae biotechnology alone. His reputation in the industry has allowed him to consult for many companies interested in algae production. Professor Schenk has been awarded in excess of $25 million in grants throughout his career and the outcomes of those research and experience are now put to good use in Has Algae as we seek to commercialize this technology. The team also comprises Tim Gardner, a public relations and marketing professional, and Brendan Fu who brings commerce and science together to create innovative practical solutions for the world as a finance and agricultural science graduate. This complimentary skill set of the founders is what makes the team strong and aligned to achieve their mission. Lastly, if you are selected as one of the four winners, how does your team plan to use the prize money? The biggest barrier to micro-algae cultivation is scaling profitability. This can only be achieved by using an open-pond hybrid system rather than solely using bioreactors. The prize money will cover the capital-expenses to replicate our system in Queensland to the UAE to build a pilot plant that can then be scaled.

Meet Our Finalists: Evja Green

31 August 2020

Evja Green is a crop monitoring system that uses AI and IoT technologies to minimize water use and maximize farm productivity. They are 1 of our 12 Finalist Teams who will compete in the upcoming FoodTech Challenge Awards Ceremony. Read more about them below. What makes your team excited about your idea and food technology?: We are excited by the idea of helping farmers to grow more abundant, healthier food with minimum environmental footprint. What is the biggest source of motivation for your team to work on this project?: Being able to have a real impact on such a strategic industry such as agriculture and food serves as the biggest motivating factor for our team to work on this idea and on food technology in the UAE. Could you tell us something unique about your team that makes you a strong contender to be in the Top 4 winners?: We have long run experience in both the technological and agronomic sides of our product and, even more importantly, we know how to market the idea to a broader audience, thereby giving us the edge over other competitors and associated industries. Lastly, if you are selected as one of the four winners, how does your team plan to use the prize money? We will invest the prize money to bring our product to the UAE, where we will establish our headquarters for the whole Middle East region.

Meet Our Finalists: Soliculture

31 August 2020

Soliculture is a solar panel technology, designed for greenhouses, that combines commercial agriculture with the generation of clean electricity. They are 1 of our 12 Finalist Teams who will compete in the upcoming FoodTech Challenge Awards Ceremony. Read more about them below. What makes your team excited about your idea and food technology?: We are excited by the idea of creating self-sustaining systems in the food technology industry by using renewable energy combined with greenhouse growing, which serves as the ultimate sustainable food production method. What is the biggest source of motivation for your team to work on this project?: Our team is passionate about sustainable food production. Combining the environmental benefits of covered agriculture with clean renewable energy production creates food security solutions with minimal negative impact on the environment. Could you tell us something unique about your team that makes you a strong contender to be in the Top 4 winners?: Our team has a strong academic background in fields beyond agriculture and plant sciences. We are a “clean slate” when it comes to growing practices because we listen and learn from all of our partners, suppliers, and customers. We believe that we can adapt our solution to address the needs of the UAE. Lastly, if you are selected as one of the four winners, how does your team plan to use the prize money? Soliculture believes that the UAE with its plentiful sun and the limited growing season is the perfect application for our technology. We plan to use the prize money to set up an office in Dubai to serve and expand our services for the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.

Meet Our Finalists: QS Monitor

31 August 2020

QS Monitor is an integrated food inspection and traceability system to ensure that only safe foods are imported into the UAE. They are 1 of our 12 Finalist Teams who will compete in the upcoming FoodTech Challenge Awards Ceremony. Read more about them below. What makes your team excited about your idea and food technology?: QS Monitor will help digitization of the food supply chain and remove inefficiencies between traders, government, and service providers hence improving access to high quality, safe, and nutritional food supply. What is the biggest source of motivation for your team to work on this project?: Our biggest source of motivation is having the potential to make an impact on the food ecosystem and be a part of food security efforts in the world. Could you tell us something unique about your team that makes you a strong contender to be in the Top 4 winners?: All of our team members have managed large scale projects and teams at the C-suite level with more than 20 years of experience in their field of work. Our team has a good understanding of the problems that stakeholders are facing, which we address by integrating state-of-the-art technology into our solutions. Lastly, if you are selected as one of the four winners, how does your team plan to use the prize money? The prize money would be beneficial to our growth as a company and will fund the IoT integration of our system and our work to develop a risk-based data analytics tool.