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.

You will hear about the design process from one team whose human-centered approach helps them adapt their product to the customers that use them. You'll also learn from another team how scientific research can transform into business opportunities with the right team of researchers and business experts. There are incredible stories that we invite you to read here.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge us, but it is also an opportunity for resilience and growth. In our 'Food for Thought' section, we highlight individuals and businesses from all the world who are demonstrating creativity in the face of these challenges and are achieving victories despite the odds. We hope these stories inspire you to see how your entrepreneurial spirit is more important than ever to achieve food security for all. 

Stay fresh,
The FoodTech Challenge Team

Food for Thought

Lettuce from Abu Dhabi vertical farm to go on sale in September
The National, by Anna Zacharias

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.

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

BBC, by Daniel South & Lisa Louis


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.  

Read more »

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

CNN, by Victoria Brown


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. 

ADAFSA succeeds at first smart algorithm to control animal diseases in Abu Dhabi

WAM, by Esraa Ismail & Mohd Aamir


Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) has developed a smart algorithm to eradicate Paste des Petits Ruminants (PPR - also known as sheep and goat plague) to boost animals' immune systems.  

Fun Food Facts
Qahwa – the Arabic word for coffee – represents an important aspect in UAE culture.

Coffee here is traditionally served in a long-spouted jug called a dallah and can be served black or brewed with cardamom and saffron. During a social gathering, communication is done by a movement of the cup; a twist: you are done, a lift: you want more. In 2015, UNESCO recognized Arabic coffee traditions as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
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